Charity hopes of pool group

UP THE POOL: Little Archie Swain learns to walk in Fleetwood's paddling pool, with big sister Larissa and aunt, Danielle Moore.
UP THE POOL: Little Archie Swain learns to walk in Fleetwood's paddling pool, with big sister Larissa and aunt, Danielle Moore.

FLEETWOOD’S Paddling Pool Committee is hoping to achieve charitable status to help it bid for funding.

And the committee is looking for extra members to help make that happen.

The group fought a campaign to keep the pool open this summer, after Wyre Council closed it.

They succeeded in winning a temporary reprieve and over the summer the pool has been filled with water and youngsters have been able to use it.

The short-term measure was achieved after campaigners sent in an impressive 3,397-name petition to Wyre Council.

However, the future of the seafront pool, close to Fleetwood Leisure Centre, remains in doubt.

Now campaigners have made a grant application to the council’s Shaping Your Community fund.

A total of £500,000 is up for grabs, but the cash pot will be shared among schemes from across Wyre.

The council is currently looking into the bids which have been made.

Although the Paddling Pool Committee would welcome cash from the fund, they are hoping to secure a larger amount of money.

Group chairwoman Norah Stuchfield believes that can be done through gaining charitable status.

She said: “We need a few more people.

“There are so many of us and if we go for bigger funding elsewhere we need more members so we can obtain charitable status.

“We need to be a bigger organisation because the more members we have, the more each of us would be able to do.

“One thing we need is a secretary, because at the moment I am doing a lot of the work myself!”

Norah said she was hopeful of getting some of the Shaping Your Neighbourhood cash, but said: “Although our scheme is as good as any, we know that there are many deserving causes across the borough that have applied.

“Our aim is to ensure there is enough money to keep the paddling pool open year after year.”

Wyre Council closed the pool because it was felt that the cost of emptying it and re-filling it– £12,000 a year – could not be justified.

But the authority did not realise how popular the pool was, and was caught out by the reaction from Fleetwood people.

Those interested in helping can contact Mrs Stuchfield on 07411 496846.