A NEW group is hoping to block Rossendale Council’s sale of the former Haslingden Pool.

The Haslingden All People’s Pool Initiative - HAPPI - is to coordinate a community bid for the baths or take them over and run them as a community asset.

Bosses at Rossendale Council are selling the pool, which closed last November, and have set a deadline of August 15 for sealed bids for it.

Coun Andy MacNae is supporting the group. He said planning permission would not be required for any new use of the building that falls under the ‘leisure’ category. The founder of HAPPI, Selina Hope, 34, of Hillside Road, Haslingden, said: “I learned to swim at Haslingden Baths and grew up using it as a way to connect with friends at the weekend. We are pleading with the council to transfer the building to us and to give us time to form a strong community group. We are calling out to anybody who would be able to help.

“We intend to approach the council with a strong business plan and lots of ideas for making the pool sustainable.”

Coun MacNae said: “We’ve offered our support on anything they want to put together. We will work with them to transfer the pool at zero cost if there was a good business case.”

Haslingden councillor Granville Morris said: “People should not have to travel out of the area to swim. It would be great if the baths were saved.”