BUSINESSMEN behind plans to re-open a much-loved Wirral swimming baths have been given a second chance to get funding in place by the council.
Byrne Avenue swimming baths closed suddenly 18 months ago and has been left empty ever since.
Since then a group of businessmen has been seeking to revamp the popular pool under the council’s community asset transfer programme.
Yet a report to the council’s cabinet appeared to write-off this attempt and recommended the site be put on the open market – possibly to be sold for housing.
Over the last 18 months, Byrne Avenue Community Trust (BACT) has been locked in negotiations with the council to convince them of its plans to bring the closed Rock Ferry leisure centre back to life.
But the council’s cabinet has now backed the efforts of BACT and has earmarked £350,000 if they can obtain match-funding to carry out the work. They have been given a deadline of March 31 2011 to get the funding in place and present the council with a credible business plan.
Deputy leader of the council, Simon Holbrook, said: “We are prepared to set aside within the community fund a sum of money – if you like with BACT’s name on it, should you be able to put together the kind of business plan and funding evidence that will convince our officers.”