£36K vote may decide Heysham pool future

The survival of Heysham swimming pool may depend on a crunch meeting of councillors next Tuesday (December 5).

Thursday, 30th November 2017, 3:47 pm
Updated Wednesday, 6th December 2017, 12:58 pm
Photo Neil Cross. Heysham swimming pool is threatened with closure but the nearby high school is planning to keep it open and turn it into a sports centre.

Lancaster City Council cabinet will meet to decide if £36,000 can be spent on keeping the indoor swimming centre afloat.

Heysham High School wants to take over the pool and run it as part of a community sports centre.

The total cost would be £289,000 and Sport England has offered £150,000 of this in principal, subject to match funding.

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Heysham High will contribute £31,000 and Lancashire County Council has said it will pay £36,000 but this leaves a £72,000 shortfall.

The county council has proposed that they and the city council split payment of the remaining £72,000 between them.

The city council cabinet will decide at Lancaster Town Hall tonight if they want to back this proposal, subject to approving the school’s business plan for taking over the pool.

A council report says that if they don’t agree the funding it “would potentially mean the pool closes as the school have stated they cannot take on the pool without all the funding being in place”.

Community groups have already taken over Carnforth and Hornby pools to ensure their survival.

Heysham swimming pool has been under threat since 2016 when the Labour-run Lancaster City Council, in a round of funding cuts they blamed on reduced cash from the Tory government, decided to stop managing all three pools and hand them back to the county council which had no plans to keep them open.