HASLINGDEN’S troubled swimming pool could close and be sold to help ease Rossendale Council’s financial woes.

That is one of two options recommended by council officers in a cabinet report due to be debated next Wednesday.

It also suggests that the responsibility for running of the baths, in East Bank Avenue, could be transferred to another organisation if it is not closed.

The pool is currently run by Rossendale Leisure Trust, but would require a £1.5million boost to be brought up to scratch as it suffers from ‘concrete cancer’.

A panel has been set up to discuss the future of the pool, although it is not a decision-making body and cannot make a final decision on its fate.

A separate assessment group has drawn up the options that will be presented to councillors next week.

Other options, including leaving the pool as it is, building an alternative pool in the Valley and reducing current operating costs were dismissed by the assessment group.

Michael McGrath, a campaigner for the pool, said the options put forward were ‘depressing’.

He said: “I, like many other people in Haslingden, are dismayed at the way the whole thing has been arrived at.

“We thought the reducing costs option was feasible and any price rises for users would have been reasonable.

“Some very dubious criteria has been used in this process.

“The option of transferring responsibility is a good idea but needs much more work and has so far not been pushed by the council to the extent it should have been.”

He said the pool panel had questioned Coun Andrew MacNae, borough portfolio holder for regeneration, leisure and tourism, ‘intensively’.

The Haslingden swimming pool was built in 1936 and had 78,300 users in 2011/12, including 13 weekly sessions for primary school pupils and disabled children.

Rossendale Leisure Trust has been told to save between £100,000 and £200,000 per year as part of broader council cuts.