A TEAM of volunteers is celebrating after taking control of Tyldesley’s closure-threatened swimming pool.
The Pelican Group, led by Leigh Centurions CEO Trevor Barton, will take over the running of the Castle Street pool on March 1 after Wigan Council’s Cabinet agreed to hand over management control.
To help the new operators find their feet, the Council will only charge a ‘peppercorn rent’ and also insure and repair the building for at least the first year.
Town hall chiefs asked for outside organisations to consider running the Tyldesley pool as part of £66m worth of savings which the Council must make over the next three years.
The Pelican Group have ambitious plans, including building dry sports facilities to bring in more money and complement the pool.
Tyldesley ward Labour Councillor Steve Hellier said: “I am delighted that Tyldesley pool can look forward to a bright and certain future with the Pelican Group.
“The group possesses the wide range of skills they will need coupled with the determination to make this a success and I have complete confidence in them.
“I have always been implacably opposed to losing the pool and, in June, the Scrutiny Committee backed me when I called upon the Council to make every effort to find a group to keep Tyldesley pool open.
“The Council has shown its commitment to the pool and Pelican through the financial concessions it is making to help the group in its first months.
“Now it’s up to the people of Tyldesley to get fully behind Pelican and use the pool. It really will be ‘use it or lose it’.”
Cabinet member for Leisure and Culture Coun Chris Ready said: “I am delighted that we appear to have a workable solution for Tyldesley to keep the pool open.”