A LAST-DITCH bid to save a swimming pool will be discussed tonight.

It is D-Day as council chiefs have recommended that Blackburn with Darwen’s executive board rubber-stamp shutting the swimming facility at Shadsworth Leisure Centre, which is costing around £102,000 a year to operate.

If approved it will close its doors for the final time on February 1 and would mean that Blackburn Centurions Club and other casual swimmers move to other council-owned pools.

However, John Slater, leader of Blackburn with Darwen Council Tory Group, will be putting forward a motion as an alternative to the closure.

He said: “They should not be shutting the pool and I suggest the council use money from fines on the bus lanes and keep the facility open.

“They could offer free swims for children which tackles obesity among children.

“Also for the over-60s they could open it for them.

“For all the people paying the fines it would be a good use for the money.”

Nick Hartshore-Evans, parent committee member of the Centurions club, said it would be a blow to the community to lose the facilities.

“Our swimming club has had to come up with other plans just in case we have to move,” he said.

“But my concern is that this is going to affect the health of people in our community as casual swimmers may not want to travel to Blackburn or Darwen.”

“Swimming is a life skill and is also a proven activity to get people fit.

“It is a non-impact high cardio-vascular activity and Blackburn with Darwen is an area where this activity will help.

“But the council is under a lot of pressure with the cost of it.”

The pool at Shadsworth Leisure Centre, which first opened in 1974, is described by the council as ‘older’ and more ‘costly’ than the other ‘newer and more modern’ pools.

There was a consultation between November 27 and December 24 to discuss the plans for the site.

In the summary in the report to councillors, it was claimed: ‘the operating costs for the swimming pool remain significant and are not affordable within the cash limited budget for the Leisure, Culture and Young People’s Portfolio’.

Centurions have been using Shadsworth for two years as they previously held sessions at QEGs.