Cash fight to save Heysham Swimming Pool goes on

John Shannon, head at Heysham High School.
John Shannon, head at Heysham High School.

The fight continues to save Heysham Swimming Pool.

The head teacher of Heysham High says the school still hopes to launch a takeover bid to reopen the pool which closed at the end of last month.

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

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

John Shannon said talks with Sport England are in the pipeline over the school’s plan to turn the pool into a community sports centre.

Current pool owners – the Conservative-run Lancashire County Council – offered £27,000 towards the school’s takeover bid but Coun Margaret Pattison, a Labour councillor for Morecambe, said she’d hoped they would offer more.

“The community is very worried that the pool will be lost,” said Coun Pattison.

“The health of our children relies on access to activities such as swimming.”

Mr Shannon said £289,000 would be needed to pay for the building work and they are hoping for a grant from Sport England.

On Thursday the council agreed to delay a decision on a transfer to Heysham High to allow more talks over funding to take place.

The pool is used by 54,000 people every year, with 16 primary schools using it for swimming lessons.

Heysham High got planning permission in July to put in an extension between the swimming pool building and the school sports block.

This would allow access from the pool to the school gym and create a new entrance and reception area for the public.

The pool’s future was plunged into doubt when Labour-run Lancaster City Council decided to stop running the pools from March 31 and hand them back to the county council, due to cuts which they blamed on reduced government funding.

This meant the pools would close.

Hornby pool has now shut although a community group is rallying together to reopen it. Meanwhile Carnforth swimming pool remains open and looks set to be taken over by a residents-run organisation from January 1 2018.