New lease of life on cards for former Victorian baths

Historic Gannow Baths in Burnley which could become the new home for a furniture company
Historic Gannow Baths in Burnley which could become the new home for a furniture company

One of Burnley’s most historic buildings, that conservationists and campaigners fought to save before it finally closed down 11 years ago, looks set to have a new lease of life.

A planning application to re-locate a furniture making company to the old Gannow Baths in Sycamore Avenue has been submitted to Burnley Council.

Currently based in Rushworth Street, Burnley, United Furniture (AB) Ltd has applied to re-locate to the 114-year-old Victorian building. The application involves converting it into a mixed use development with a flat on the first floor.

The company employs seven people and uses woodwork machinery in the production of kitchen units and bedroom furniture.

The decision to close the pool was taken in 2004 following a review of Burnley Council leisure facilities.

Burnley Civic Society objected to the plans and despite a protest being held the building was shut down.

At the time Mick Cartledge, the councils’ Director of Community Services, said the baths ran at a significant loss which meant that every council tax payer in the borough was subsidising the relatively small number of people that use the building.

After private negotiations, the building was bought by the Life Church which also purchased the adjoining field.

The pool then became the hub for the church as a place of worship and also a social centre but plans were always on the cards for a more modern building to suit the church’s needs.

This did not become a reality until 10 years later in 2014 when the Life Church opened a brand new multi-million-pound building on the field next door to the former baths.

Building began in 2008 but was hit by delays when the site developer went bankrupt.