SUPPORT from families living outside the borough could ebb away from Blackburn’s proposed £13.5million swimming and leisure complex because the pool will no longer have a wave machine.

Council bosses were warned that many parents whose children love to use the current water fun centre will be put off by the change.

Ten families who live outside Blackburn with Darwen responded to an exhibition at the 26-year-old Waves Water Fun Centre by saying that the loss of the wave machine meant they would no longer go there for a swim.

Tory group leader Mike Lee responded to the complaints by telling borough Leisure boss Damian Talbot to ensure the fun element of the new complex was enough to attract out-of-town families to come to Blackburn not just to swim but shop and spend money.

The details of the responses to a survey and exhibition of architects drawings are revealed in a report to the borough council executive board tomorrow night.

It confirms plans for a six-lane main pool, a small pool with moveable floor, two flumes and a water play zone.

The complex, jointly developed by the council and Blackburn college, will have a health suite, a fitness gym and aerobics studio plus two sports halls for student and public use.

Despite a one-month delay in the process for contractors to work on their bids, officials tell the councillors that the project is still on target for its Spring 2015 opening date.

The report identifies concerns about the loss of Waves and also the possible loss of circuit training and confirms the council’s £8.5 grant for the scheme.

Coun Talbot said: “There will be a big water fun element.

“The new centre will have two flumes, one will be a family slide suitable for non-swimmers.

“There is also a water play zone for younger children, in addition to the learner pool and six lane main pool where we can throw in fun floats.

“We needed a balance between people, including clubs, who want proper lane swimming and an area for play and fun.

“The rectangular shape of the new pool meant we could not accommodate a wave machine.”

Coun Lee said: “Damian needs to look carefully to make sure we keep a good fun element to attract families so they shop in the town, come back and tell others to visit.”