PLANS to restore the Haslingden Baths look to be moving forward after council chiefs reiterated their commitment to spend £100,000 on the project.

Haslingden Swimming Pool in East Bank Avenue closed in 2013 after Rossendale Council pulled the plug on funding.

Campaigners had been hoping it would reopen in 2015 but progress has been delayed due to financial restrictions and after structural issues with the building were identified including a roof leak.

Following a number of meetings between Rossendale Council and the Haslingden Baths Community Interest Company (HBCIC) the council has recommitted £100,000 on the condition that a funding shortfall is met by other sources.

Fundraisers are now adopting a community share scheme in a bid to raise the remaining money with the expectation that the refurbishment will start in spring next year.

In a joint statement released by the council and the group they said: “The Council has advised it is willing to release £100,000 on the condition that the funding shortfall is met by other funding sources.

“HBCIC has researched options which may prove advantageous in terms of raising the capital. It has been decided that a Community Share scheme will be adopted.

“HBCIC will be preparing a prospectus for this scheme, and a marketing strategy, over the next few months.

“The Community Share scheme is provisionally intended for release in the period February to April 2018.

“Should the funds be raised it will enable refurbishment to restart in Spring.”

The group is also looking to strengthen its management structure.

Cllr Granville Morris, who covers the Greenfield ward, said he thought the community group had not been fully supported by the council.

He said: “Part of that £100,000 was needed to repair the roof and that work has never been done. There is a risk that the building will continue to deteriorate.

“Was it ever the intention of the council to support it? You would think so by the amount promised but they have never released that money.

“I am disappointed as a councillor that there is a well-meaning group that may be having difficulties raising further funding, which they are trying to do, and they have not had the full support that was promised to them.”

He added although the baths may have lost money, it was an important community asset.