After nearly two years of ‘temporary’ closure, the YMCA has announced the permanent closure of Kirkham Swimming Baths. This local pool has been a centre for physical activity, social interaction, and skill development for individuals of all ages in the area for over 100 years.
Libby Steele, the head coach for Kirkham and Wesham Swimming Club, and a well-respected Swimming Teacher who worked previously worked at the pool before it’s closure, has started a petition to show the Fylde Borough Council how disappointed the community are, and to urge them to apply for a potentially available grant from Swim England to help save Kirkham Baths.
She says, ‘In December 2021 the roof suffered severe structural damage due to a storm; and unfortunately the pool has not been operational since. Ultimately, two years was unnecessary to make this decision. Everyone who has used the pool or lives in the area knows how old this pool is, and is under no illusion how huge this job would be to repair. However, many feel that some structural changes should have been made prior to the storm occurring.
Kirkham Swimming Pool has been a centre for physical activity, social interaction, and skill development for individuals of all ages for over 100 years. These range from swimming lessons, swimming club, aqua aerobics, lifesaving, disability swimming, scuba diving and events such as triathlons, and birthday parties.
An estimated 32,000 people and over 14 local schools in the area are going to be affected by this closure. Individuals and schools are now having to travel an estimated half a hour to attend other facilities. Other facilities offered by the YMCA such as St Anne’s / Poulton pool are also now under a huge strain due to the sheer volume of members attending their sites instead of Kirkham. Advising people to attend these facilities is not fixing a problem, instead, it is adding to these pools own structural issues as well.
As the head coach for Kirkham and Wesham swimming club, and a Swimming Teacher who worked previously worked at the pool before it’s closure; I have witnessed the impact this has had on numerous kids, who cannot access other facilities due to cost and distance. I believe the children of the Fylde coast, who are at high risk of exposure to water due its geographical location (sea/lakes/marshes) should all equally be able to access swimming facilities.
Swim England announced on the 30th of June that there is a total of 20 million pounds available, open to ALL local councils targeted at those facilities at risk of closure or reduced services. This petition is to show the Fylde borough council how disappointed the community are, and to urge them to apply for the grant to help save Kirkham baths.’
To sign the petition go to: https://www.change.org/p/save-kirkham-swimming-baths?recruiter=false&utm_source=share_petition&utm_campaign=psf_combo_share_initial&utm_medium=whatsapp&utm_content=washarecopy_37104537_en-GB%3A8&recruited_by_id=e4681bb0-3819-11ee-a102-995d03e8f535&share_bandit_exp=initial-37104537-en-GB