New pool takes the plunge

Hindley Community Pool with coun Jime Ellis chairman, Geoff Henson general manager and Gayle Buckley head of administration

Hindley Community Pool with coun Jime Ellis chairman, Geoff Henson general manager and Gayle Buckley head of administration

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A WIGAN swimming pool rescued back from the brink of closure is being relaunched.

The baths in Borsdane Avenue are currently undergoing a major transformation as members of the community have joined forces to take over the facility and revamp it, under the new name of Hindley Community Pool.

The site, formerly known as Hindley Swimming Pool, was originally identified for closure in 2011 as part of a £6.4m council cuts package.

But community coalition Phoenix, which included councillors and businesspeople, fought fiercely to keep the baths open, and it was approved by Wigan’s cabinet to take over the running of the site earlier this year.

Operating hours have gradually increased over the last six months, with user numbers climbing by more than 400 per cent.

As a result, more members of staff have bene employed, taking the total to 20. Coun Jim Ellis, chairman of the board, which has taken over the running of the pool, said: “We wanted to change the logo, bringing it more into keeping with the people it serves.

“The banners proclaim our new image, we now are known as The Hindley Community Pool.

“Staff have new outfits with logos and name badges presenting a welcoming atmosphere to users.

“Our thanks go to those supporters who have helped us through the initial stages, devoting time and effort.

“They have pulled together magnificently, with staff even coming in on their off days to help with the painting and cleaning etc.

“During this time the opening hours have been gradually increased and, starting on Tuesday September 17, we will open one morning per week at 6.30am and if successful, this will extend gradually to most mornings.

“The success is down to our efforts at improving the pool and its environment, welcoming staff and our innovative approach to customers.

“We recognize that customers’ wants are not always met in standard pools.

“Currently we offer services for parties, aerobics for older people, tadpole sessions and zorb ball activities, together with a disabled facility to rival anything in the North West. We would consider putting on any type of pool facility with kayaking and synchronised swimming currently in the pipe line.”

To recommend an activity for the pool, call 01942 665356 and register your interest.