#ThrowbackThursday: £9m Royal Baths leisure plan revealed

The front of the Baths was to remain largely unchanged, except for the 'probable addition' of some decorative canopies.

The front of the Baths was to remain largely unchanged, except for the 'probable addition' of some decorative canopies.

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In 1997, the Harrogate Advertiser was a broadsheet newspaper which came out on a Friday.

On Friday October 17, 1997, the paper revealed ambitious plans to turn the town’s Royal Baths into a £9 million ‘leisure oasis’ for the 21st century.

An artists impression of how the new development was likely to look.

An artists impression of how the new development was likely to look.

A survey of the building in the 1980’s had estimated urgent repairs would cost in the region of £2 million and by the 1990’s the Baths were falling into a state of disrepair.

The Advertiser reported: “According to officials at Harrogate Council, the repair bill for the great building now runs into millions which they have no hope of ever finding and the money can only be found from the private sector”.

The council at the time were working with Keighley firm, Turner Constructions, on a plan to refit the building with cafes, bars, restaurants and a glass-roofed health spa.

A consultation for the project was scheduled for the following May with the hope of delivering the ‘business consortium’ in mid-1999, but for the most part the plans never came to fruition.