LEISURE trust bosses are optimistic they will start to turn a profit despite having to dip into cash reserves.

Hyndburn Leisure chief executive Lyndsey Sims said the planning for the future to make sure the trust was not stung by unplanned maintenance bills was key.

And she said the trust would be applying for Sport England funding to help finance some capital spending to facilities which would put it on a more secure footing.

Ms Sims was updating members of Hyndburn Council's resource overview and scrutiny committee on the trust's financial position.

A report to the committee said the record-breaking scorcher of a summer, underground pool leaks and a near-tragedy involving a young girl have hit the leisure trust's takings..

Income from swimming pools was hit by the closure of Mercer Hall in Great Harwood due to leaks underneath the facility.

And an incident at Hyndburn Leisure Centre in Church where a five-year-old girl had to be given CPR after getting into difficulty during a swimming lesson affected trade as well.

Bosses also said the hot summer weather affected income at all the trust’s facilities, particularly the Adventure City soft play centre at Hyndburn Leisure Centre.

Ms Sims said: "It is a difficult financial climate but we are managing that. We can't dip into our reserves every year so we need stability to start turning a profit and I think the capital work will be a big part of that.

"I'm a very positive person and my ambition is to grow the organisation. I have got a good team and it is about getting things in place so we can thrive.

"What happened at Hyndburn Leisure Centre did affect our brand but we have come through that and I am happy with how the staff handled it.

"The bigger impact has been the closure of Mercer Hall."

Ms Sims added the trust had done some work with schools to help restore confidence.

The trust manages the operation of eight leisure, sport, culture and community facilities across the borough requiring an operating budget of £2.6 million and a team of over 70 employees.

Along with other council services, it has been charged with achieving significant efficiency savings, resulting in a reduced annual grant from April 2018 of £75,000 being committed for the next three financial years.

Ms Sims warned employees could face reduced hours and that workers who resign might not be replaced.