Return of the MAC: The Manchester Aquatics Centre to reopen next week

  • Monday 19 June 2023

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Rows of seats and the pool inside the Manchester Aquatics Centre

On Monday 26 June the Manchester Aquatics Centre (MAC) will reopen its doors to the public, following a multi-million pound refurbishment from Manchester City Council. 

After the completion of Phase 1, the largest phase of the works the Manchester Aquatics Centre is due to reopen next week, in time for the  World Para Swimming Championships, that will take place in late July.  

The Manchester Aquatics Centre, located on Booth Street, has been closed to the public and has been operating at a reduced capacity since November 2021. During this time, the leisure centre has seen a significant refurbishment of its facilities and has undergone works to improve its energy efficiency. 

The Council has delivered upgrades to all areas and aspects of the building. Including improving all of the swimming pools, enhancing the health and fitness facilities which now features three new gym spaces all on one level, a new fitness class studio and new group cycle studio, leisure water (including new splash pad facilities), new café facilities, health suite, and changing spaces with new accessible changing provision to support disabled people and those with additional needs, and new digital and sustainable technologies to provide a more modern and efficient building. 

The refurbishment of the MAC allows Manchester residents to have direct access to state-of-the-art leisure facilities right in the city centre.  

In line with Manchester City Council’s commitment to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2038, sustainability, energy efficiency and decarbonisation have been at the heart of the MAC’s refurbishment and the building has been adapted accordingly.   

Over £3m in investment was secured for New Green Technologies, funded by the National Public Sector Decarbonisations Scheme. Green energy systems and renewable energy sources have been implemented across the aquatics centre to reduce the MAC’s carbon emissions. 

The existing gas heating system has been replaced by high efficiency, all electric Air Source Heat Pumps and 1006 solar panels have been installed on the roof of the centre,  alongside a battery system that will allow the MAC to use solar energy even on Manchester’s cloudier days. In addition to this, a Building Management System, using energy efficient lighting and new air handling units have also been introduced to preserve heat and reduce emissions. 

Phase 2 of the refurbishment works will commence in September and will include upgrades to all basement areas, programmed over the next 12-month period. 

Councillor John Hacking, Manchester City Council’s Executive Member for Skills, Employment and Leisure, said: 

“The reopening of the Manchester Aquatics Centre is a momentous occasion for the city and it's wonderful to welcome people back to the newly renovated facility, one of the leading aquatics venues in the UK. The return of the Aquatics Centre is a key strategic goal for the Council, we want to ensure that our communities have access to state-of-the-art facilities in Manchester and, make sure that we’re looking after the wellbeing, both physical and mental, of our residents.  

“Thanks to the Council’s large investment, the Aquatics Centre is now better equipped to suit the needs of our residents, who can now benefit from a wide range of brilliant sports equipment, aquatic upgrades, spa facilities and changing space  - I would encourage anyone to go down to test out the new facilities.” 


Councillor Tracey Rawlins, Manchester City Council's Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said:  

"The reopening of the Manchester Aquatics Centre is great news for Manchester residents and for the sustainability of our city. With decarbonisation at the centre of its regeneration, the new-look Aquatics Centre will help to put Manchester on a greener path. 

"As a Council we are committed to becoming zero carbon by 2038, and integrating energy efficiency into MAC's refurbishment is yet another step towards this crucial goal." 


Andy King, CEO of Manchester Active, said: 

“The centre is a key player in contributing to Manchester’s reputation as an international city of sport and remains one of the most important legacy outcomes of the 2002 Commonwealth Games in the success of GB Para Swimming.  “Not only will we welcome back a thriving events programme with national/international reach and significant economic value to Manchester, but also over 700 school children each week via Manchester school Swimming Programme and over 900 people on public learn 2 swim programmes, plus up to 14,000 health & fitness members and over 70,000 students from both Manchester universities.” 

Ian Harkins, Head of Service for GLL in Manchester who operate the MAC on behalf of Manchester Active, said: 

"We’re absolutely delighted to be welcoming residents and visitors back to the Manchester Aquatics Centre later this month. The refurbishment is of the highest standard and we’ve got some great new features to showcase as well as the eagerly awaited return of the city’s iconic 50m pool. 

“Our people are an essential part of our social enterprise model and we’ll also be welcoming new staff from our local communities to the team. The centre will offer a first-class environment and a great range of activity programmes for all ages that we’re sure will encourage improved health and wellbeing for Manchester residents”. 


Activity programmes for all ages including juniors and seniors are available to view: .  


For more information on Manchester Active, please visit: 

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