Expressions of interest open for operation of Kirkham swimming pool

Groups are being invited to submit an expressions of interest in acquiring and operating the Kirkham swimming pool.

The council say they’re exploring all practicable options to support swimming provision in Fylde, after the facility closed last August.

A new dedicated webpage details how Fylde Council is exploring all practicable options to support swimming provision locally, with the page offering a comprehensive source of information for residents and interested parties.

The webpage incorporates an in-depth timeline with details of all actions taken to date and will be regularly updated to reflect progress. Readers can review information such as the Active Lancashire community-wide consultation on the future of sport and leisure facilities in Fylde, read about the successful applications to the Swimming Pool Support Fund, and track progress through the stages of the disposal plan.

It will also serve to enable the submission of Expressions of Interest in the acquisition and operation of Kirkham Pool by eligible voluntary and community groups. Fylde Council is facilitating the Expression of Interest process with the permission of YMCA Fylde Coast.

The disposal plan for Kirkham Pool agreed between Fylde Council and YMCA Fylde Coast following the formal closure of the pool in August 2023 outlines the importance of continued swimming provision for the borough. As such, the first stage of the plan opens the facility to consideration from eligible groups, giving them the opportunity to lay out their case for investing in the pool.

From Friday 12 April 2024, voluntary and community bodies will be able to submit an Expression of Interest in acquiring and operating the Kirkham swimming facility. This submission period will run for six weeks, from Friday 12 April 2024 until Friday 24 May 2024. Expressions of interest can be easily submitted using the dedicated online form available via the new webpage: https://new.fylde.gov.uk/swimming-in-fylde/

Applicants who have made an Expression of Interest will be contacted by email when the Expression of Interest period closes and will be invited to prepare and submit business plans for their proposals to operate Kirkham Pool.

Cllr Karen Buckley, Leader of Fylde Council, said: “Many of our residents are curious about the future of Kirkham pool and the broader question of swimming in Fylde, and this comprehensive new resource will provide a way for us to give detailed updates on each stage of the journey and a roadmap for what comes next.

‘’The first stage is to invite expressions of interest and we have commissioned several architectural options and costings to inform interested parties, all of which are available on the webpage. 

“For those interested in the future of St Annes Pool, there is also information regarding the successful bid to the Swimming Pool Support Fund which will help safeguard this council-owned asset.”

Cllr Jayne Nixon, Lead Member for Tourism, Leisure & Culture, said: “The in-depth Active Lancashire Report is very informative and highlights views of residents, schools, and the wider community. Fylde Council and the YMCA Fylde Coast are united in our goal of ensuring swimming provision in the borough meets the need of our residents. I would encourage any voluntary and community group with an ambition for helping fulfil this goal to submit an Expression of Interest through our new webpage.”

Graham Oatridge, CEO of YMCA Fylde Coast, said: “The new dedicated website sets out the information and a pathway for interested agencies to take forward swimming provision in Kirkham. We believe that it provides the clarity to enable community groups to submit their interest whilst also providing critical updates to local residents.”

The new webpage can be found on the Fylde Council website here: https://new.fylde.gov.uk/swimming-in-fylde/

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