Mindless damage to Ashton’s Victorian Italianate jewel
Thursday 12th January 2017 17:12 Ashton Business Community News Posted by Nigel P.

Expensive leaded windows at the recently restored Ashton Old Baths smashed by vandals.

 

Vandals are believed responsible for damage caused to several arched windows in the newly revamped Ashton Baths in Henry Square.

The Impressive Victorian building dating from 1870 has only just been restored at a cost of 3 million pounds after lying derelict for 40 years.

The grade 2 listed building was originally built as a swimming baths and was the second largest covered baths in Europe, but fell into disuse in the 1970s, until Tameside Council brought together funding from several sources to restore the building and turn it into a business centre.

The restored building was originally opened in March last year as a high-tech business incubator to great fanfare including a spectacular sound and light show.

Despite the refurb and provision of of high tech facilities including high speed internet connection, the building has failed to attract tenants, leaving the building currently empty and it is not believed the council has any specific plans to protect the building from further attacks.

However a spokesperson for the council said:”We are aware of the damage to the windows at Ashton Old Baths – they will be fixed upon completion of current works which are due to finish in March this year.
Ashton Old Baths will be occupied from March/April time which will provide a natural surveillance.

“The site being used for works near the windows will also be transformed into a car park and we are currently in the process of gaining control of the security cameras in the area.

“We hope that the combination of all this should deter and further anti-social behaviour.”

The council have high hopes for the project which they see as being at the centre piece of the digital and creative sector which forms the ‘digital village’ vision for St Petersfield, with many modern high tech buildings straddling Stamford Street along from the baths.

The project has been supported by several national digital companies already choosing St Petersfield as their home.

Speaking last year  as work was progressing on the project, Cabinet First Deputy Cllr Jim Fitzpatrick said:  “The project is an exciting development targeted at the digital and creative sector and forms the cornerstone of the ‘digital village’ vision for St Petersfield.

He was speaking after enjoying the spectacular view from the building’s iconic 120 foot (37 metre) high tower that dominates that part of Ashton’s skyline, the tower is a based on the medieval town hall tower of Sienna in Italy.