AN MP is backing a last ditch bid to save a swimming pool and sports centre which is due to close next weekend.
Time is running out for Glenholme Leisure Centre in Crook, County Durham, after the county council rejected take-over bids for both it and a centre at Ferryhill.
Six centres were due to close originally, but Durham County Council accepted take-over bids for three, at Ushaw Moor, Coxhoe and Sherburn, as well as agreeing to keep a fourth at Pity Me open with reduced opening hours.
But the county council, which rejected a community group bid to take over Glenholme, is due to close the centre on Saturday.
Pat Glass, MP for North West Durham, said she was “bitterly disappointed” at the decision.
She added: “I will now be seeking an urgent meeting with the Council to see if there is anything that can be done, even at this late stage.
“I will also be talking to the council about what sport and leisure facilities it intends to provide in Crook if Glenholme closes.
“Glenholme Leisure Complex is an important community leisure facility that provides a wide range of activities for people of all ages. To lose it would be a huge blow to the local community.
“People should not have to travel longer distances to enjoy leisure facilities and to keep fit.”
Four months ago paralympic hopeful Lyndon Longthorne, 15, handed over a 4,000-signature petition urging the council to at least listen to offers to keep Glenholme open.
Lyndon, from Crook, lost both legs and an arm when he was struck down with meningitis as a baby. But his talent and fighting spirit has seen him make a remarkable recovery.
His mother Tammy Shevels said: “Swimming at Glenholme helped Lyndon’s recovery. I didn’t have a car at that time so there was nowhere else I could have taken him.”
Retired firefighter John Winter, 62, said the closure of Glenholme would spell “the death knell for Crook”.
Mr Winter, who spearheaded a community group bid to keep it open, added: “We are a town with no facilities. It seems to be one rule for one centre and another for us.”
Terry Collins, Corporate Director of Neighbourhood Services for the county council, said the bid had failed due to financial margins, unrealistic or unsubstantiated income targets, and failing to meet legal requirements surrounding the transfer of staff.