TALKS aimed at securing a long term commitment to Tenbury Swimming Pool from Malvern Hills District Council (MHDC) are at a late stage.

It can be revealed that the new owners theTenbury Pool Company, that has taken over the facility, is in discussion with the district council in the hope of securing a long term agreement.

MHDC currently makes a grant of £70,000 a year to the swimming pool and fitness centre but this comes to an end next March.

“We know that we cannot depend upon this continuing and we know there is pressure on funding,” said Caroline Palethorpe, of the new company.

However, it is hoped that a deal can be reached that fits in with the strategy of MHDC for supporting sports facilities.

But it is clear that the council is not willing to provide a no strings attached grant and Tenbury Swimming Pool will need to be tied in with a tendering plan for the operation of leisure facilities across the Malvern Hills region.

At present contractors Leisure Sports Management (LSM) operate Tenbury Pool and Fitness Centre and are working with the new company.

The issue is complicated by the fact that contrary to the belief of many people in the town the swimming pool is not a council facility.

It was built in the 1960s and until a few weeks ago was run by the Tenbury Guild.

Major fund raising is going to be needed in the coming years as the facility has ageing equipment including boilers, heat exchangers and chlorine dosing equipment.

A recent consultation and survey indicates that nearly one in five people in the Tenbury area use the swimming pool and fitness centre at least once a year.