A MUCH-loved Carlisle attraction thought to be the last of its kind in the North West is set to reopen in just a weeks time.

The city's Turkish Baths - also known as the Victorian Health Suite - on James Street will welcome back visitors from July 19.

The grade II listed building is one of just a handful of similar facilities still operating in the UK, and has been spruced up in advance of the reopening. Work to refurbish the sauna seating and the re-painting of the lounge ceiling has improved the look of the building, which dates back to the late 1800s.

The site is managed by GLL on behalf of Carlisle City Council.

Clark Morton, The Pools General Manager at Better, said: “If you haven’t yet visited the Victorian Health Suite, we encourage you to experience the therapeutic benefits within a unique part of Carlisle history and you can expect to leave feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and proud of your local heritage.

“You’ll be stepping back in time and will be able to marvel at the flamboyant style of the blue, green and grey glazed brick work, on each side there are two elegantly decorated columns. This is the lounge area where there are ten relaxation rooms each separated by the original wooden screens of art nouveau panels.

"The ceiling area is very impressive; the windows are bordered by stained glass providing an abundance of natural light highlighting the features of this wonderful facility.”

Cllr Stephen Higgs, Portfolio holder for Culture, Heritage and Leisure, added: “The Victorian Health Suite (Turkish Baths) is an important part of Carlisle’s heritage and we are exploring the best ways to manage the facility after The Pools relocate to The Sands Centre.

“£400,000 funding, secured through the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal, is available to make good the external parts of the Turkish Baths post demolition and to facilitate the refurbishment of the building.

“The Carlisle Station Gateway and Citadels project will regenerate the area around Carlisle Station and the Victorian Health Suite will be factored into any planning. There are no plans to change the Turkish Baths current use and we urge visitors to sample the facilities it has on offer.”

Visitors wanting to sample the site can book online at https://www.better.org.uk/leisure-centre/carlisle/the-pools/1293-the-pools, use the Better app or call The Pools team on 07823 349365. Bookings can be made up to seven days in advance. Please visit the website for entry prices.

The site is available to visit Monday - Friday between 9.30am to 8.30pm and Saturday - Sunday 9.30am - 1.00pm. Sessions are mixed on a Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday; Men’s on Monday and Friday then Ladies on Tuesday and Thursday.