A COMMUNITY group has stepped forward to manage an under-threat swimming pool.
The Pelican Group, which consists of several users of Tyldesley Pool, including Tyldesley Water Polo Club, has declared its interest to Wigan Council about managing the facility.
Wigan, Leisure and Culture Trust has asked for community organisations to take over the running of the pool to save costs.
Trevor Barton, chairman of Leigh Sports Trust, is leading the group and made his plan public for the first time during a consultation meeting last week.
He said: “We have submitted an expression of interest which has been received by the council. The Pelican Group will be registered as a limited company and we will be notifying the community when plans are finalised.
“We are still working on the business plan, but it will be finished by the next meeting, which is to yet be announced, where we will explain what we intend to do and how we intend to run the pool,
“Tyldesley pool has been in existence for a long time and a lot of people and sports clubs use it. My grandchildren are among the users so I know personally how important it is.
“The community would be totally devastated it we were to lose it, which is why we are working hard to maintain it.
“But it is now up to the council to look at other expressions of interest and determine which is most appropriate.”
Ward councillors are delighted groups have been coming forward to save both Tyldesley and Hindley pools. Lib Dem councillor Robert Bleakley said: “There are about eight or nine bids for both Tyldesley and Hindley pools.
“But the organisations have to show they can manage the facility and reduce costs. I think they have a great opportunity to make this a success.”
Labour councillor Stephen Hellier said: “I am opposed to the loss of the pool.
“I hope this latest news has allayed people’s fears and laid to rest the nonsense about the council secretly planning to close the pool for the last 15 years that has been spread around recently.
“At the last scrutiny committee meeting, I asked that officers bend over backwards to assist this transfer process and that is clearly happening.
“I am optimistic about the pool’s future.”.