Page last updated at 13:22 GMT, Thursday, 10 February 2011
Lampeter swimming pool accepts council lifeline
Swimming pool (generic)
Members voted to transfer ownership to Ceredigion Council

Members of a debt-ridden community-run swimming pool have decided to transfer its ownership to a local authority.

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

It was set to close this month because it would not have been able to pay staff and day-to-day running costs

But Ceredigion Council's offer of a loan to cover the debt if the pool's ownership was transferred to it was backed at a meeting.

am delighted that the staff's jobs have been secured and I am glad to say that we will now not be forced to close the swimming pool
Rob Phillips

The swimming pool, opened in 1972, has been run as a not-for-profit company for the past five years, headed by 10 trustees, with 57 members who had the final say on the transferral of ownership.

Chairman of the pool's trustees, Rob Phillips, said: "A large majority of members 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 next step is to contact the council and our lawyers to discuss the transfer."

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

Mr Phillips said: "I am delighted that the staff's jobs have been secured and I am glad to say that we will now not be forced to close the swimming pool."

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.

"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," he said.

"We had enough money to pay wages for another two or three weeks, but after that we would have had no other option but to close the pool without financial assistance.

"We would not have been able to reopen until we received our annual grants in April.

"But the chances of us reopening would have been very slim because the pool would be out of use for six or seven weeks."

A Ceredigion Council spokesman said: "Following the decision to transfer the pool to Ceredigion Council, appropriate measures will be put in place to ensure that all necessary requirements are met.

"It is not yet known how long this process will take but is hoped that the transfer will be complete by September 2011."

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