Villagers move closer to saving their pool

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Residents in Hornby have moved a step closer to securing the future of their village swimming pool.

Councillors agreed to ‘mothball’ the pool as part of their 2017/18 budget proposals last month.

In 2015/16 the pool ran at a loss of £74,622, costing £147,814 to run with income of £73,192.

Lancaster City Council ceased running the pool from March 31 and handed it back to owners Lancashire County Council.

It will now be maintained in order to give residents six months to draw up a business programme and set up a community asset transfer to run the pool themselves.

It is hoped grant funding might be available from a body such as Sport England.

Villagers are currently working alongside ward councillor Peter Williamson in a bid to draw up a business plan.

More than 100 people attended a village meeting to pledge their support to an application to become a Community Asset Trust known as Lune Valley Community Society. The group will then be able to apply to the county council for the pool to be transferred to them. This should have taken place by June 6.

Bob McGachie, who is behind the drive to keep the pool open, said: “We are putting together a strong business plan.

“The strength of feeling in the community is very high.”

People are currently being ask to show their interest by signing up to pledge money towards the scheme.

Mr McGachie said many elderly people and children rely on Hornby swimming pool, which was opened in 1977 after being built using money raised by the community.

Meanwhile, the swimming pool’s former pool manager, Cheryl Stewart, was rewarded for her hard work over the last 30 years with a presentation recently to mark her dedication to the community.

She has helped hundreds of people to swim during her time working at the pool.