Shock closure of borough swimming pool

Hindley Community Pool
Hindley Community Pool

Confusion surrounds the sudden closure of a borough swimming baths and the future of jobs there.

Hindley Community Pool shut its doors early on Tuesday and staff were told it would no longer be run by community group Hindley Phoenix.

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Wigan Council has announced this morning that it will take over the centre "to keep the facility open and enhance its services".

It said Hindley Phoenix, which had run the pool since 2013 after taking it over from the cash-strapped council under the auspices of The Deal, had disbanded.

The intention is for the facilities to be operated by another company and discussions are taking place. But nothing has been formally confirmed and the premises will remain closed in the meantime.

It is not yet known what will happen to staff employed at the pool and posts on social media suggest they have been made redundant.

Coun David Molyneux, council leader, said: "Back in 2013 we were facing the enormous challenge of taking £160m out of the council’s budget and The Deal had only just launched.

“We didn’t want to start shutting facilities so instead we began working with communities through The Deal to look at how we could support them to take over some facilities.

“Our thanks and appreciation goes to the trustees of the pool who have maintained it for the last five years. The community group has put in a lot of their own time to keep the facility running and managed it in challenging economic times.

“We are all in agreement that the priority is the continued operation of the pool and its future as a much loved community facility.

“We are now aware that a certain amount of work is needed to improve the facilities at the pool and investment is required.

“This centre will add to the brilliant leisure offer we have across the borough so our residents can get active and healthy as part of The Deal.”

As part of the legal insolvency process, the company must be formally closed down and the lease then forfeited to the council.

During this transition the pool will likely be closed for a short period while a new operator is obtained.

Earlier this year trustees were forced to defend public accusations that the pool had been "cold" and "dirty."