FLEETWOOD residents trying to save the town’s seafront paddling pool received some good news this week.
The group, which had called itself the Paddling Pool Action Group, has officially been given charitable status this week.
Its new name is the Fleetwood Community Trust and there are currently 10 members of the organisation.
Trust chairman Nora Stuchfield told the Weekly News: “We signed the constitution on Monday and we are now officially a charity.
“This is really good news for us because it puts us on a more solid ground and it will help us with fund-raising bids.
“It is what we have been trying to achieve for the last two months and we have finally made it.
“We are determined to keep the pool open so families from Fleetwood and visitors to the town can use it.”
The paddling pool issue arose earlier this year after 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.
However, the council did not realise the extent to which Fleetwood families valued the pool.
Campaigners formed the action group and 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, a question mark still hangs over the pool for 2013.
Mrs Stuchfield, a 49-year-old grandmother who lives in Macbeth Road, continued: “We are hoping that we can receive some of the money from Wyre Council’s Shaping Your Neighbourhood fund.
“As well as that, we are also looking to apply to larger funding providers.
“Our aim is to keep it going and sustain the pool for everyone to use.
“This is a much-loved and treasured amenity in Fleetwood which has given pleasure to many families over the years.
“It is awful to think it now lies deserted and abandoned. We really hope we can bring it back to life.”
To celebrate charity status, the Fleetwood Community Trust is holding a family Christmas fund-raising party on December 28 at Jim’s Bar at Fleetwood Town Football Club.
The event will include music from Krazy Karl and there will be a wide range of prizes donated by local people and businesses.
Tickets for this event are available now and can be purchased from The Strawberry Gardens pub on Poulton Road, costing £1 each.
Mrs Stuchfield added: “We totally appreciate the warmth and generosity of the good-hearted people in Fleetwood and it just shows what can be achieved when everyone pulls together.”
The paddling pool is one of 15 Fleetwood projects put forward for the Shaping Your Neighbourhood fund.