A popular swimming bath has received a surprise early birthday present in its centenary year.
It has been announced that YMCA Rural Splash, known to many as Kirkham Baths, celebrating its 100th year in July, is to receive a Lottery Award of £48,308 through Sport England’s Inspired Facilities Fund secured by YMCA, with a further boost of £11,000 in additional funding from YMCA.
The total pot of £59,308 will be used to transform and re-design the changing rooms at the facility.
YMCA Fylde Coast took over the operation of the centre in partnership with the local campaigning group Rural Splash to save it from total closure in 2009. The addition of a gym has boosted membership income, which is heavily relied upon by the charity to sustain the operation of the centre.
In their bid for funding, the YMCA said an overhaul of changing facilities would secure the long term viability of the pool.
Francis McCaffery, Rural Splash Committee member said: “I’m absolutely ecstatic. This is fantastic news and testament to the success of our partnership with YMCA to secure the future of the pool for rural Fylde.
“We are grateful to all of YMCA’s members, customers and our supporters who have continued to use the centre, despite the changing facilities being in such need of attention. And now we can thank them properly and in this special year too. This investment will undoubtedly mean the centre continues to be a great asset for rural Fylde, encouraging more local people to enjoy the centre more often and hopefully for many more years.”
YMCA Members Philip Petty, 75 of Warton and Jenny Thompson, 65 of Freckleton have both been swimming at Kirkham for many years.
Philip said: “New changing rooms will really lift the whole centre. I use St Annes pool too and the transformation there has boosted it no end.”
Jenny said: “I’ve been a loyal swimmer at the pool for 37 years now and this is just amazing. The staff do really well to maintain the changing rooms but they are in need of modernisation and what a year to receive the award, brilliant.”
YMCA is yet to confirm when the re-development works will take place, however it is envisaged the plans will be finalised within the next six months.
Coun Sue Fazackerly of Fylde Council said: “Swimmers in the Kirkham area will benefit from improved changing facilities for decades to come.”