Carnforth swimming pool transfer agreed

Carnforth swimming pool.
Carnforth swimming pool.

Lancashire County Council has agreed to transfer the ownership of Carnforth swimming pool to a charity run by the local community.

Three swimming pools - Carnforth, Hornby and Heysham - located on school sites in the Lancaster district had previously been leased to Lancaster City Council.

However the city council made a decision to stop operating the pools from March 31 2017 and hand them back to Lancashire County Council.

The county council said that as it does not deliver leisure services, this could have resulted in them closing permanently.

But the county council said it contacted the three schools where the pools are based, along with local councillors and community organisations, to discuss transferring their ownership to allow them to continue as community facilities.

Decisions have already been made in principle to transfer swimming pools in Carnforth and Hornby to community-based organisations, and a final decision made to go-ahead with the transfer of Heysham Community Swimming Pool to Heysham High School Sports College.

The county council’s cabinet agreed on January 18 to go-ahead with the transfer of Carnforth Community Swimming Pool to Carnforth Community Swimming Pool Ltd, a charitable company which has been established by a local partnership including Carnforth Town Council for the purposes of managing the pool.

The pool on the same site as Carnforth High School closed on December 31 2017, and the county council said it will continue to maintain it while working with the newly-formed charitable company to finalise lease arrangements and complete the transfer.

County Coun Phillippa Williamson, lead member for young people, said: “We want to ensure that the three swimming pools in Lancaster continue to be available for schools and the local community to use, and have been working very closely with the organisations which would like to run them in future following the city council’s decision to hand them back to us.

“We’re very grateful to the school and community organisations for their interest in taking ownership of the pools under the council’s Community Asset Transfer (CAT) policy.

“Since agreeing in principle to transfer Carnforth Pool to the charitable company which has been set up by the local partnership, we’ve been working closely with them to ensure their plans are robust and sustainable.

“I’m pleased that we’ve now reached the stage where the council’s cabinet has made a final decision to go ahead with the asset transfer.

“We’ll now be working with them to finalise the lease and complete the transfer as soon as possible.”

Funding has previously been identified by the cabinet to support the transition of the swimming pools to the new arrangements, and £27,000 will be paid as a one-off sum to Carnforth Community Swimming Pool Ltd.