Heysham swimming pool cash lifeline agreed

Heysham swimming pool.
Heysham swimming pool.

The survival of Heysham swimming pool looks certain after councillors agreed a £36,000 cash lifeline.

Lancaster City Council cabinet agreed that the money can be spent to help Heysham High School 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.

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

The Conservative-run county council proposed they and the Labour-run city council split payment of the remaining £72,000.

The city council backed this at a meeting on Tuesday, subject to approving the school’s business plan.

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

The pools had been under threat since 2016 when Lancaster City Council, in a round of cuts they blamed on reduced government cash, decided to stop managing all three pools and hand them back to the county council which had no plans to keep them open.

Coun Margaret Pattison, a Labour councillor on both Lancaster City and Lancashire County councils, thanked the 1,370 people who signed a petition to save the pool and also thanked council officers, Heysham High School and Sports England.

She said the pool is used by 74,000 visitors a year and by 16 local schools.