Restoration winner threatened by shortfall

The building that won BBC2's Restoration programme could be turned into a bar or a block of flats unless £15m can be raised.

The Victoria Baths in Longsight, Manchester, has been awarded £3.4m by the TV show after it won the hearts of the viewing public, securing 280,000 votes.

But, the money was only for the renovation of the Turkish Baths, so the rest of the 97 year-old pool complex is still at risk.

The Victoria Baths Trust, which takes care of the day-to-day running of the building on behalf of owner Manchester City Council, has commissioned a feasibility study to consider the options for the rest of the building.

These include converting sections into residential or business premises.

It is estimated that it would cost more than £15m to refurbish the whole complex as a swimming baths.

"The Trust has been running for ten and a half years because local people want the swimming pool back," said Gill Wright, spokeswoman for the Victoria Baths Trust. "But we will only achieve that if we can convince funders that it is viable. We really want to reopen the Baths and would prefer not to damage the architectural integrity of the building, but we might have to accept a conversion or partial conversion."

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