‘Buy a bubble’ bid to save pool

Residents can sponsor a 'bubble' at Kirkham Baths to help pay for the upkeep of the pool.'Pictured are Kirkham and Wesham Primary School pupils Adam McCaffery, 11, Linus Coppersthwaite, 8, and Eve Coppersthwaite, 11, who have all sponsored a bubble.

Residents can sponsor a 'bubble' at Kirkham Baths to help pay for the upkeep of the pool.'Pictured are Kirkham and Wesham Primary School pupils Adam McCaffery, 11, Linus Coppersthwaite, 8, and Eve Coppersthwaite, 11, who have all sponsored a bubble.

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BOSSES at a cash-strapped swimming pool are appealing for the community’s help after being stripped of vital Government funding.

Rural Splash – formally known as Kirkham Baths –has lost £92,000 a year after the Government decided to axe free swimming for children and pensioners.

Now, after a hard-fought campaign saw the pool saved in 2008, a unique “Buy a Bubble” supporters scheme has been launched to encourage local people to save the 97-year-old facility for a second time.

Coun Liz Oades said: “The pool has lost £92,000 a year and so the group needs to raise as much money as possible.

“Local people supported the campaign to save the pool, we now hope they will be able to support its long term future.

“I’ve been approached by a number of non-swimmers who want to purchase a bubble as well as those who use the pool regularly.”

Since it was saved from closure the pool has been run by a group of residents alongside Fylde Coast YMCA. The community group has come up with the idea of the scheme which will see bubbles containing names and messages displayed on a wall in the pool’s foyer.

One of the first people to buy a bubble was Duncan Coppersthwaite, whose two children learned to swim at the pool.

He said: “I’m buying one in memory of my dad who died last year.

“He was delighted his grandchildren received such good teaching at Rural Splash.

“I hope my donation will go some way to help secure the future of the pool.”

Francis McCaffery, who has made the wall, said: “These bubbles make a lasting gift or could form a memorial to a loved one. The wall will act as a roll of honour, with more bubbles being added as people sign up to the scheme.”

Bubbles, which come in different sizes and cost between £5 and £200, can be purchased from the swimming pool reception desk.

It’s hoped people who have learned to swim at the pool – whether they still live in Kirkham or not – will pledge cash to keep the pool open.

Kirkham Baths, alongside St Annes Swimming Pool, were threatened with closure when Fylde Council decided to axe them to save costs.

Rural Splash was launched to run the baths alongside Fylde Coast YMCA, which now also operate St Annes Pool, which re-opened last summer.