Page last updated at 14:29 GMT, Friday, 28 January 2011
Lampeter swimming pool thrown lifeline by council
Swimming pool (generic)
The pool is set to close within two weeks

A community-run swimming pool has been thrown a lifeline by Ceredigion County Council.

Lampeter Swimming Pool Ltd estimates it will be £12,000 in debt by the end of March.

It is set to close within two weeks because it will not be able to pay staff and day-to-day running costs.

But Ceredigion Council has offered to provide a loan to cover the company's possible debt if the pool's ownership is transferred to the local authority.

The offer will go to a vote by the pool's members on 9 February 2011.

We recommend transferring the pool to the council with a heavy heart, but all the trustees believe this is the best way forward to ensure the pool can still be used as a community facility
Rob Phillips

The swimming pool was opened in 1972 and for the past five years has been run as a not-for-profit company, headed by 10 trustees.

Chairman of the pool's trustees, Rob Phillips, said: "The trustees have agreed to Ceredigion Council's proposal to help us financially with a loan so we can keep the pool open as long as we transfer the pool to its leisure services department as soon as possible."

The proposal will now be decided by Lampeter Swimmimg Pool Ltd's 57 members.

Mr Phillips said the swimming pool's financial problems had got steadily worse year by year.

"We've found it difficult to have enough money to keep the pool open during the last few weeks of every financial year until we get our grant funding every April," he said.

A major pool improvement project in 2009 that cost £50,000 had worsened the cash crisis, according to Mr Phillips.

Wages

"We didn't raise quite enough grant funding to pay for the work in 2009 and this has had a knock-on effect on our finances."

The swimming pool currently employs one full-time manager, two full-time lifeguards, 13 casual lifeguards and 10 poolside helpers.

Mr Phillips said: "We've got enough money to pay wages for another two or three weeks, but after that we will have no other option but to close the pool without financial assistance.

"We would not be able to re-open until we receive our annual grants in April.

"But the chances of us re-opening would be very slim because the pool would be out of use for six or seven weeks.

"We recommend transferring the pool to the council with a heavy heart, but all the trustees believe this is the best way forward to ensure the pool can still be used as a community facility."

Ceredigion Council has been asked to comment.




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