Environmental Upgrade for Victorian Gem

Published on: May 24th 2023

Scotland’s fourth oldest public swimming bath, Warrender Swim Centre, has reopened its doors following a major refurbishment.

Improvement works have included making the Victorian gem more environmentally friendly as well as the installation of a new sauna.

Managed by the charity Edinburgh Leisure, the pool reopened at the end of May.

June Peebles, Chief Executive at Edinburgh Leisure, said: “Edinburgh Leisure, in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council, is delighted to be reopening the doors to Warrender Swim Centre, a Victorian pool loved by so many.

“We’d like to thank our customers for their patience during the somewhat longer-than-expected closure period. However, once inside the venue, I’m sure everyone will agree it’s been worth the wait.

“Originally known as Warrender Baths, the venue has been serving the community since 1887, and this major investment will ensure Warrender Swim Centre, as it is now known, will continue to serve the community for many years to come.”

The latest major investment has been about maintaining the balance of Victorian charm and an environmentally efficient 21st-century facility as well as improving the customer experience. 

Significant changes and upgrades to Warrender Swim Centre have taken place, including:

  • Maintenance work and repairs to the sandstone structure, windows, roof, and roof structures in keeping with the building’s listing.
  • Decoration throughout, including updating the changing rooms, both wet and dry, and retiling of the poolside.
  • Enclosing the area overlooking the pool and adding air-cooling.
  • New easy access, making it easier for customers to access the building and their activities, with the simple swipe of their membership card or fob.
  • Upgrades to the mechanical and electrical works, including improvements to the ventilation system.
  • New pool plant.
  • New boilers.
  • New lighting.
  • New air handling throughout the building, including the gym.
  • Installation of a new sauna.

Stephanie Kelly, Manager at Warrender Swim Centre, said: “We’re so excited at the prospect of welcoming customers into our lovely, refurbished swim centre. The renovations have taken longer than expected, but as anyone who has ever renovated an older property will know, there’s usually something uncovered that requires a change of plan or often additional work, and that’s certainly been the case with Warrender. 

“We know that our loyal and our new customers, and of course, Warrender Swim Club, who have such a long association with the venue, will be delighted with the extensive work that has been carried out. Team Warrender looks forward to welcoming back you all back to this iconic, Victorian swimming pool.”

Cllr Val Walker, Culture and Communities Convener, said: “I’m really looking forward to Warrender Swim Centre reopening its doors, and I’m sure many users are looking forward to once again going for a swim in the beautiful surroundings of the heritage building.

“The major refurbishment has made sure some modern adjustments and improvements have been made whilst keeping the charm of the original Victorian building. I’m delighted that this investment will ensure families can continue to enjoy Warrender Swim Centre for many years to come.”

With a 25-yard pool, sauna, and gym, Warrender is a Victorian swim centre in the heart of Bruntsfield and Marchmont. This historic venue retains many of its original features, including the original steam room’s roof in the gym, but also has the modern facilities required for an active, healthy life. The gym is in what used to be the Turkish Baths.