ST HELENS Council insists it “remains committed” to bringing the swimming pool at Sutton Leisure Centre back into use – and has approved funding for the project.

As reported in March last year, almost £700,000 was promised to Sutton Leisure Centre for work on the swimming pool and a 3G artificial pitch.

Confirmation came when the council passed its 2021-22 budget, which allocated £392,000 from its capital budget for the swimming provision at the leisure centre and £307,000 to the 3G pitch, with the pitch now open.

The pool closed in 2013 despite fierce opposition from residents – 1,142 people signed a petition at the time calling for the council to keep the facilities open.

However, the Labour-run authority U-turned on its stance that the pool should remain closed to save what it claimed would be £180,000 a year.

This followed the closure of Parr Swimming and Fitness Centre in October 2019 due to safety concerns.

St Helens Council has provided an update on the issue after being asked whether the pool will still be reopening.

A spokesperson said: “The council remains committed to bringing the pool back into use at Sutton Leisure Centre and has approved funding for the project to happen.

“Following the approval an enhanced site condition survey was completed which revealed that further health and safety work on the building was required, some of which related to the swimming pool.

“This meant that further financing was required to complete the necessary work before the swimming pool could be returned to use, leading to a delay in the completion of this project. This was on top of the delays caused by the pandemic.

“We are pleased to say that the additional funding has now been identified to complete the work required to bring the pool back into use.”