Group formed to save town’s pool

Making a splash: Suzanne Beech, Faith Borst, Bernardo Vega Arnanz and Jannine McCarthy of Wirksworth Pool Working Group are looking to the future.
Making a splash: Suzanne Beech, Faith Borst, Bernardo Vega Arnanz and Jannine McCarthy of Wirksworth Pool Working Group are looking to the future.
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Residents have rallied round to ensure their threatened swimming pool stays open.

Plans to run Wirksworth Learner Pool as a private business sparked fears for the facility’s future with town leaders saying day-to-day management should stay with Derbyshire Dales District Council.

But now a community group, which has come forward to run the pool, say its outlook is bright and the facility is set to get a new lease of life.

Resident and Wirksworth Swimming Pool Working Group member Suzanne Beech said: “Residents were keen to keep it as a Wirksworth facility.

“Due to budget cuts the district council was looking at all its options and nobody wanted to see the pool closed.”

Rural Action Derbyshire was drafted in by the district council in 2009 to host public meeting and give residents a chance to discuss the facility’s future.

The organisations findings showed the pool was popular with families and used extensively by schools.

The new business model sees volunteers playing an important role in the running of the pool.

Suzanne, whose son leant to swim at the pool said she was keen to get involved and added: “People always have warm tales to tell about the pool and talk about their children or grandchildren using it.

“There is a lot of respect for it and I’m confident that the people of Wirksworth will get behind it.

“We do have a close community in the town and people are usually very forthcoming in helping and offering support.”

The district council needs to carry out essential maintenance work before handing the pool over to the group next April.

The council says the charitable body will be able to access funds that were not available to the local authority to keep the pool open in the longer term.

The facility has been plagued by maintenance issues and around £100,000 is needed to upgrade it.

The group is now looking to recruit a swimming pool manager and swimming teacher and would also like to hear from anyone interested in volunteering.

To find out more visit www.wirksworthswimmingpool.co.uk or call 01629 820221.