THE leader of Hyndburn Council has admitted there has been a 'mixed reception' to the borough's £10million 'leisure transformation' scheme for the borough.

It includes the closure of the leisure complex and pool at Mercer Hall in Great Harwood and their replacement with a new £6million hub at Wilsons Playing Fields in Clayton-le-Moors.

The project would include a four-lane 25 metre swimming pool, gym, group exercise studio, changing facilities, sports hall and café.

The new upgrade of leisure provision in Hyndburn also includes a £4m refurbishment of the borough's main leisure centre in Church.

Council boss Cllr Miles Parkinson has revealed the results of two online consultations - on the overall strategy and on the Mercer Hall plans - in a report to the council's Cabinet on Wednesday which shows widespread opposition to the Great Harwood pool closure.

The document says: "We received 853 responses to the Leisure Transformation proposals survey and 574 responses to the Mercer Hall repurposing survey.

"The majority of respondents on both surveys were female and a high proportion of people identified that they were customers at Mercer Hall Leisure Centre.

"Responses in general to the Leisure Transformation survey were mixed. A large proportion of residents welcome the investment and look forward to the new opportunities it will bring.

"Residents citing objections have concerns which are focused along the following themes:traffic on Whalley Road; lack of car parking provision at Wilsons Playing Fields; losing a town centre located leisure facility in Great Harwood; environmental impact at Wilsons Playing Fields; and anti-social behaviours at Wilsons Playing Fields

"The majority of people contributing to the Mercer Hall survey suggested that they would like to see the facility repurposed to provide fitness and wellbeing services.

"Many also expressed that they would like to see the facility remain unchanged or refurbished.

"Other popular examples of repurposing functions included a community hub, entertainment venue and hospitality/events venue.

"The next stage of feasibility work will include a sequential assessment of potential replacement sites in Great Harwood and Rishton alongside the site that is currently being proposed at Wilsons Playing Fields."

Cllr Parkinson said: "No final decisions have been taken. The preferred option remains for the new swimming pool and leisure centre at Wilson's Playing Fields but we are looking closely at options for Mercer Hall and for investments elsewhere in Great Harwood at Bank Mill House and the Memorial Park."

Conservative group leader Cllr Marlene Haworth said: "The ruling Labour group need to look very carefully at the results of this consultation, particularly in relation to Mercer Hall."