£175,000 scheme could secure baths’ future

Kirkham Baths has suffered water damage after lead was stolen from the roof.
Kirkham Baths has suffered water damage after lead was stolen from the roof.
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Fylde Council’s cabinet has met to discuss continuing a £35,000-a-year subsidy to help run the Kirkham’s Rural Splash swimming pool – securing its future for five years from 2014/15.

It is a further boost for swimmers in the borough after St Annes Baths was given a £500,000 grant by Sport England to re-
develop its changing area as part of a £625,000 scheme.

Cabinet member for leisure and tourism, Coun Sue Fazackerley, said: “We already subsidise the baths to the tune of £35,000, but the council has worked to extending the subsidy for the rural splash group. It was a subsidy that was coming to an end and the money is key to the running of the facility.

“If the money is agreed to it’s absolutely great because it’s 
facilities for Kirkham and the
 rural Fylde area.

“It is already used a lot by schools and it’s a very popular facility for the surrounding area.”

The baths is hugely popular in the rural Fylde area, with a catchment area of 30,000 people.

When threatened with closure in 2008, more than 3,000 residents marched through Kirkham and Wesham to demonstrate their anger and the pool gained a reprieve.

Kirkham Coun Keith Beckett added: “It would very much be welcomed by Kirkham, any money we can get would be grateful.

“I do a lot of fund-raising for the baths and have donated around £2,000 myself.

“The amount of people that use it in the rural area is huge.

“Sixteen schools use the baths, you can’t afford to go elsewhere.

“In a country area like ours people need to know how to swim and it’s a facility that should be kept open.”