Community groups to take over two Lancaster swimming pools

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Lancashire County Council has agreed to help secure the future of two swimming pools near Lancaster by transferring their ownership to community organisations.

The council's cabinet has decided in principle to go ahead with community asset transfers (CAT) for Carnforth Community Swimming Pool and Hornby Community Swimming Pool to ensure they can continue to be used by schools and the local community.

The pools, along with a third, Heysham Community Swimming Pool, are all located on school sites, and had previously been leased to Lancaster City Council. However the city council made a decision to stop operating the pools from 31 March 2017 and hand them back to Lancashire County Council.

As the county council does not deliver leisure services, this could have resulted in them closing permanently. However, the county council contacted the three schools where the pools are based, along with local councillors and community organisations, to discuss transferring their ownership to allow them to continue as community facilities.

The county council's cabinet today (Thursday 9 November) agreed in principle to go ahead with the transfer of Carnforth Community Swimming Pool to Carnforth Community Swimming Pool Ltd, and to transfer Hornby Community Swimming Pool to Lune Valley Community Society Ltd. Both are charitable organisations which have been newly established to manage the pools.

County Councillor Phillippa Williamson, lead member for young people, said: "We're keen to ensure that the three swimming pools in Lancaster continue to be available for schools and the local community to use, and have been working very closely with the organisations which would like to run them in future following the city council's decision to hand them back to us.

"We're very grateful to the school and community organisations for their interest in taking ownership of the pools under the council's Community Asset Transfer (CAT) policy, and the time and resources they've already committed to ensure their plans are robust and can be progressed as quickly as possible.

"I'm pleased that the council's cabinet has agreed in principle to proceed with the transfer of the pools at Carnforth and Hornby.

"We've already been working with the charitable organisations for some time to ensure their proposals are robust and sustainable and will continue to work with them to transfer the pools into their ownership as soon as possible. Where pools have closed we have put care and maintenance regimes in place to ensure they're kept in good condition and can be reopened for users as soon as possible pending their successful transfer."

The county council's cabinet recently considered a proposal to transfer Heysham Community Swimming Pool to Heysham High School. A decision was deferred to allow further discussions with the school to ensure its plans for the future operation of the pool are sustainable, and work is ongoing with the aim of putting a decision to cabinet in December.

Tagged as: Council

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