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Local authorities across the south west are calling on the government to provide urgent funding to safeguard the future of leisure centres.

St Ives Leisure Centre Mutney licensed under Creative Commons
Photograph: Mutney, licensed under Creative Commons

This comes as St Ives residents turned out to protest against the continued closure of their facility, operated by Greenwich Leisure Ltd (GLL) on behalf of Cornwall Council.

GLL wants to re-open the centre in October, but this is dependent on money from the council which might not be forthcoming.

Protesters formed a queue outside the centre on Saturday morning, with many parents, in particular, concerned about lack of swimming lessons and activities for yourngsters. The pool is also well used by organisations, such as St Ives Bay Swim Club and the town’s Surf Lifesaving Club, as well as schools.

Chloe Lorraine has set up an online petition to get the leisure centre re-opened, and so far it has attracted just under 2,000 signatures.

She said: “St Ives Leisure Centre and its pool particularly are a key community asset that is used by many in the town and beyond… Both of my children learnt to swim at the pool and swam regularly before it shut due to the pandemic.”

The petition can be signed here.