Tuesday, March 13, 2018
A community group is celebrating the official reopening of Carnforth's swimming pool.
Members of Carnforth Community Swimming Pool Ltd have spoken of their delight following a celebration to mark the organisation taking over the running and management of the town's swimming pool.
The community pool faced an uncertain future after being closed by Lancaster City Council in December 2017.
But thanks to a community asset transfer of the building by Lancashire County Council it reopened for the local community to use in February, and the transfer has now been officially formalised.
The history of the pool is one which is very close to the community’s heart.
Forty years ago the community pool was opened at a cost of £105,000. An amazing £45,000 of this was fundraised by the people of Carnforth and surrounding area over a six year period, which included buying a brick costing £1.
On Sunday (18th March 2018) the pool will celebrate its 40th birthday.
Pat Wooff, Mayor of Carnforth and Town Councillor, and Grace Cook, age 8, who inspired the rebrand of the pool by winning a logo competition, officially unveiled a plaque to mark the reopening on Saturday.
Cllr Wooff said: “Well 40 years on and we have our pool back in Carnforth ownership which pleases everyone who ‘bought a brick’ when the community opened the pool.
"It was a novel idea at the time and raised a lot of money.
"Many of the original fundraisers are now seeing their grandchildren learn to swim, which is much safer than swimming in the canal which we did as teenagers.
"Good luck to the new management and please Use Our Pool."
Gareth Patterson, company secretary, said: “We are delighted that the pool remains available for current and future generations, young and old, whether they be learning a new life skill or just enjoying the range of sessions on offer.
"I look forward to seeing the pool go from strength to strength now, with the continued support of the community and the team that I’m so proud to be a part of.”
The weekend also marked the start of the community group's first fundraising activity, supported by Carnforth Rotary Club.
The 40 mile Swimathon was hosted over the weekend to tie in with the pool’s official re-opening and its 40th Anniversary. Other work is taking place to put together a programme of fundraising and grant applications that will support the pool, particularly through its first year of operation.
The group have also been working hard to create an interesting and wide-ranging programme of activities that is inclusive and accessible to the whole community.
As well as the school swimming sessions, regular club visits and lessons, the pool has increased the number of sessions for parents and toddlers, aquafit and aquamobility (high and low intensive water-based exercise) whilst maintaining the popular public swimming sessions at a range of times through the week, including the ever popular “Friday pound swim”, now known as Tween Swim and targeting swimmers aged 8-12 years old.
The group said programming the wide-ranging timetable was challenging but vital if the pool was to be the “open to all” community asset that it needs to be. As well as revising the timetable, the pool has also reduced the prices for swimming from £3.90 for an adult swim to just £2.80; children’s swimming has been reduced to £2 and fitness lessons are £4 each.
Fiona Wood, one of the company director, said: “Looking further ahead we’d love to be able to support specific community needs, whether that be getting people back into exercise and improved mobility or supporting those living with dementia or other specific needs.
"Following a successful session with the Integrated Care Communities (ICC’s), we offer sessions via the Active Lives programme to help be more active, from get back into swimming sessions, fitness sessions and a free weekly Nordic walk from the pool every Tuesday at 10.15am.”
Shaun Turner, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: "It is really great news that this swimming pool has reopened for community use and it was brilliant to see everyone on Saturday.
"Swimming is a great form of exercise and something which can be enjoyed by people of all ages."
The group added that community involvement was essential to the continued success of the pool, whether that be supporting particular fundraising initiatives or simply turning up for a swim, adding that as the saying goes, “use it or lose it”!
For more information visit www.carnforthpool.org or the group's Facebook page @carnforthpool, which contain opening times, prices, competitions and for updates about progress.
Tagged as: Leisure and Culture