Plan for future of Kirkham Pool approved

Fylde Council and YMCA Fylde Coast have announced that a plan has been agreed for the future of the former Kirkham pool facility.

Constructive discussions between the partners sought to safeguard their shared priority of continued rural swimming provision for the borough, and the resulting disposal plan allows exploration of all realistic possibilities of using the facility for that purpose.

The plan lays out proposed methods of disposal, giving community or voluntary groups the opportunity to submit expressions of interest in acquiring and operating the facility, before consideration is given to selling the premises on the open market.

Interested groups will be able to submit their expressions of interest from Friday 12 April 2024. More information about how to put forward an expression of interest, as well as broader information about Fylde Council’s steps to ensure the availability of swimming provision, will soon be available on the Fylde Council website.

Cllr Karen Buckley, Leader of Fylde Council, said: “When Kirkham Baths was transferred to the YMCA in 2011 there was a written agreement governing the steps that must be taken should the YMCA seek to dispose of the asset, known as a disposal plan.

‘’The first iteration of the plan was rejected by the Executive Committee at Fylde Council on 5 December 2023 for not allowing sufficient time to involve the community in seeking alternative providers and funders. We have been pleased to work with YMCA Fylde Coast to develop a plan for the Kirkham pool premises which allows this exploration work before the asset is potentially put on the market for sale.

“Swimming provision in Fylde is a matter the Council considers of great importance, as demonstrated by the Notice of Motion resolved in October 2023.”

Cllr Buckley continued: “The approval of this Disposal Plan lays out concrete steps in achieving our goals of considering all practicable options to meet the needs of our residents.”

Cllr Jayne Nixon, Lead Member for Tourism, Leisure & Culture, said: “Since the formal closure of the Kirkham pool, we have been hard at work considering the best way to guarantee continued swimming provision to the residents of Fylde. To this end, we commissioned Active Lancashire to conduct a community-wide consultation, the results of which we will soon be able to share.

“Separately, we have assessed the feasibility of several options for the Kirkham facility both on site and off and these plans will be made publicly available.

“The adoption of the Disposal Plan means we will soon be able to invite Expressions of Interest from those groups who can demonstrate the capacity to take on and run the pool for the good of the community.”

Graham Oatridge, CEO of YMCA Fylde Coast, said: “YMCA is proud to have been able to provide swimming to the rural Fylde community since 2009. Despite the disappointment of no longer being able to offer this provision, we are pleased to have worked closely with Fylde Council to reach a position which enables voluntary and community groups the opportunity to express an interest in taking and operating Kirkham Pool.

‘’We hope the determination of the local community drives a successful submission.”

More information about how voluntary and community groups can submit an Expression of Interest will be available soon.

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