A Burnley swimming club which has been active for almost 50 years is facing an uncertain future, with their acting chairman saying the club is at a “tipping point.”

Burnley Bobcats is launching a fundraising appeal to help the club continue operating past the end of June.

The club, which uses St Peter’s Leisure Centre in Burnley as well as Padiham Leisure Centre, is trying to raise £6,000 to keep them afloat, appealing for supporters and former swimmers from their past to make a one-off payment or pledge their support.

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A Crowdfunder post said: “Despite the efforts of our fantastic fundraising team, brilliant swimmers, and parents, who also recently helped raise money for Derian House, we head into the new financial year facing a deficit.

“Our volunteer committee work tirelessly throughout the year with initiatives, fundraising, and galas to provide our 170 swimmers with high-level training facilities and experiences to learn, grow, and stay active.

“We provide children from seven to 18 with swimming opportunities from local friendly leagues through to regional and national level, but also just the opportunity to swim regularly, meet new people, and enjoy the sport.

“We do, however, rely heavily on grants as well as separate fundraising alongside our club fees to help keep the club viable. Access to sponsorship and grants during the last 12-18 months has been particularly difficult, alongside hugely expensive pool hire costs.

“As we enter the new financial year, we need help from the local community to allow us to continue this hard work and keep our children swimming long into the future.”

The club says it costs around £180,000 a year to run, with all money raised going back into the club and constant reinvestment in events, equipment, coaching, and training, as well as raising the profile of the club and attracting new members.

The post continued: “It is getting harder and harder for our local swimming clubs to stay viable with rising costs of pool hire and other significant operating costs. Normal budgets are being stretched and access to support is diminished in our current climate.

“Without access to the outlet and focus which our swimming club provides, our children will undoubtedly be worse off.”

The club’s acting chairman, Ben Whitaker, said: “We are at a real tipping point. We have a strong plan for the club’s future if we can find the required amount to survive June and July, but we need the support of our parents and the wider community to save our club.”

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Committee member Steve Dicken added: “We know there are a lot of people who have benefited from Bobcats over its almost 50 years of service to the community.

“It’s our hope that many of them will be able to help us make it to that half-century mark and beyond to support swimming for future generations in the borough.

“We welcome businesses who might consider this as corporate social responsibility too. Whilst we aren’t yet a charity, the work is underway to achieve this so that people can support the club in a more sustainable way going forward.”

Anyone who wishes to donate should search for Burnley Bobcats on the Crowdfunder website.