NURSERY bosses have won the battle to buy the old Bacup baths from the council -- thwarting a bid by developer Brian Boys to snap up the site.

Rossendale's corporate policy committee gave the nod to the Sure Start -- a Government-funded programme to provide special assistance to needy children in the area -- which came in with a late bid to buy it for use as a nursery.

Brian Boys, head of leading valley developer B &and E Boys has threatened to quit Rossendale after claiming he had been stabbed in the back by the council after believing the baths deal was cut and dried.

He was the only one to tender for the building and even sent in a 10 pert cent deposit on his bid price.

But the council returned his cheque in the post after receiving a late bid from Sure Start and deciding to have a revaluation of the building.

Now councillors have opted to sell the baths to the children's help group, at a higher price than Mr Boys' bid.

Committee vice chairman Coun Neil Smith said the private meeting received the new valuation and decided to accept the Sure Start offer.

"We are happy with the outcome, although I don't think Mr Boys will.

"The fact is we made it clear in April we were not accepting his offer.

"He was not in the running this time."

Coun Smith said the council was duty bound to get the best possible price for the building.

"This was a better price," he added.

Mr Boys, who was not available today, threatened to sue Rossendale Council over breach of contract and said he may sell up and leave the Valley.

At the time he said: "I have been stabbed in the back, I am going to leave. They don't deserve me."