Ashton Old Baths


Ashton Old Baths was built in the 1870’s by the Victorians but closed during the 1970’s and remained derelict and on the English Heritage ‘At Risk’ Register for the next 40 years. The Grade II* Listed former municipal swimming baths, has been brought back into use by MCAU as a new creative, digital and media hub, using grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the European Regional Development Fund and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council.

The project includes the complete restoration of the former main pool hall and the entire building’s exterior, as well as the introduction of 7,000 sqft of modern office space in the form of an independent free-standing structure. 

The new internal structure provides a series of new workspace units with additional meeting rooms and a new rooftop communal terrace. Its organic form not only exploits borrowed daylight from the existing high-level windows, but more importantly maintains the impact of the former pool hall’s cathedral-like open space and allows the existing building’s internal fabric to remain visible. 

The new intervention just kisses the existing fabric providing a semi-permanent solution to a modern day issue and one that could quite easily be reversed in the future. For now at least the future of arguably the grandest example of a Victorian swimming baths has been preserved.

MCAU led the project consultant team throughout, designing and delivering the new structure as well as completing all restoration work.

Project Team

Architect / Lead Consultant: MCAU
Client: Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council
Project Manager & QS: Appleyard & Trew
Planning Consultant: Paul Butler Associates
Heritage: Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture
Structural Engineer: Renaissance
Services & Sustainability: Aecom
Fire & Acoustic Consultants: WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff
Interior Design: Hemingway Design
Main Contractor: HH Smith & Sons Ltd