YMCA Kirkham Rural Splash Set to Permanently Close
YMCA Kirkham Rural Splash is set to permanently close. The facility suffered significant structural damage caused by Storm Arwen in December 2021 and has not been operational since.
The pool had been threatened with closure as long ago as 2009 but an agreement between Fylde Borough Council and YMCA allowed the facility to remain open. Ever since the storm, YMCA have been working with partners to try and plot a way forward for the service. However, whilst plans had been drawn up to replace the damaged section of roof, the cost of additional works mean that reinstating the facility is not now financially viable.
Graham Oatridge, CEO of YMCA Fylde Coast said ‘We are hugely disappointed not to be able to go ahead with re-opening the baths as was originally planned. We have been working with architects and engineers to create a scheme of works to reinstate the facility. Unfortunately, the ageing plant and building systems mean that additional investment of hundreds of thousands of pounds are required and, as a charity, YMCA simply does not have the funds to make that investment. The revenue costs of running swimming pools have risen exponentially on the back of the energy crisis and despite the willingness of YMCA and its partners to see the building re-open that is just not possible. We know this news will be incredibly disappointing for everyone that loved the facility. However, conversations have already started and YMCA will be working with Fylde Council, Kirkham Town Council and other willing stakeholders to explore all options for bringing a modern, fit for purpose leisure facility for Kirkham and rural Fylde.’
Many of the swimming lessons run from YMCA Kirkham have been relocated to other local pools whilst members have also been able to make use of other YMCA facilities in in Lytham, St Annes and Poulton. Schools using the facility have all be offered alternative swimming lesson availability at other YMCA sites. YMCA members with any enquiries should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about YMCA Fylde Coast and its facilities across the borough, visit www.ymcayactive.org
YMCA Kirkham – Frequently Asked Questions
Who owns Kirkham YMCA?
The YMCA Fylde Coast began operating the facility in 2009 through an agreement with Fylde Council. The agreement initially involved leasing the facility to YMCA, followed by the eventual transfer of the freehold. The Freehold was transferred to YMCA in accordance with the Agreement in 2011. Additionally, the agreement stipulates that the Fylde Council provides an annual subsidy to YMCA to deliver leisure provisions from the facility.
Why has it taken so long to reach the decision to permanently close YMCA Kirkham?
There are two main reasons, those being:
- Delays occurred with YMCA’s insurance company due to protracted negotiations caused by the building complexities and time constraints following the storm damage.
- The Agreement of the freehold requires a specific process to be followed before a Closure Event is evoked. This process includes ensuring that the decision to close has not been made before fully exhausting all options to maintain the existing site.
What are the future plans for leisure provision in Kirkham?
Kirkham YMCA Pool, dating back to 1914, underwent a substantial refurbishment in 1979. Before the storm damage in December 2021, the facility remained functional. However, it was acknowledged that the age and overall condition of the building imposed a limited lifespan on the site. The building’s original domed roof and other non-economical, inefficient features contributed to its challenges, with increasing resources required to maintain the upkeep of the site.
Conversations have already taken place between YMCA and Fylde Council to explore alternative options for the long-term provision of leisure facilities in Kirkham and rural Fylde.
What will happen with the building and the site?
Contractually YMCA is obliged to work with Fylde Council in regard to what happens with the site. The two initial options are that the site is retained and repurposed for the good of the Kirkham community, or the site is sold with proceeds being reinvested in to Kirkham.
If local councils are willing to invest in a new asset or scheme, why can’t the funds be allocated to improve the existing premises?
The existing premises require a substantial investment simply to re-open, with a viability of only 5-10 years before further funding becomes necessary. Allocating public funds to an outdated facility would not represent best value for money. Modern, fit for purpose leisure facilities offer a significant operational lifespan, leading to reduced maintenance and repair expenses, along with ongoing costs. This makes them a practical and favourable long-term investment of public funds.
What investment is required to re-open the facility at Kirkham?
The investment required to re-open the facility fall under two headings; reinstatement of the roof and associated remedial works; replacement of plant including air handling, pool filtration systems, boilers and heating system and other required buildings works.
YMCA sought quotes from three contractors for the works relating to the storm damage. The quotes ranged from £386,559 – £491,220. Whilst the building is insured the insurance monies received were far lower than the quotes.
The estimates received for the plant, pools systems and other building works amounted to £575,000. This included replacement of the boilers and heating system that are over 40 years old and the replacement of the flat roof.
Therefore, the anticipated investment minimum investment is between £961,559 – £1,066,220, though it should be noted that these costs were obtained in September 2022 and so will likely now be subject to inflation.
If the investment was made how long could the facility operate for before further investment is likely to be needed?
It is expected that the investment outlined above would cover a period of between 5-10 years before other capital monies were required.
Is it just the roof of the premises that needs investment?
No, other significant investment, as mentioned above, is required. In reality, this investment would not enhance the over quality of provision to the customer rather, it would simply enable the building to be brought back into a similar operational condition as it was before the storm.
Did YMCA Kirkham make any surplus?
No, over the last 10 years the facility has lost £365,379, though the operation has been supported over this time by Fylde Council and local Town Councils. Due to the rise in energy costs the forecasts for 23/24 and 24/25 would have added a further 6 figure loss on to these figures.
I am a member at YMCA Kirkham, am I eligible for a refund?
If you were a member at YMCA Kirkham and have not transferred your membership to another of our sites then you maybe entitled to a refund. Please complete the refund form and if eligible your refund will be processed within 14 days.
I am still a member of YMCA, can I use your other centres?
Yes, you can use any of our YMCA leisure centres across the Fylde and Wyre. These are:
YMCA Lytham: Mythop Road, Lytham FY8 4HB
YMCA St Annes: St Albans Road, Lytham St Annes FY8 1XD
YMCA St Annes Pool & Gym: South Promenade, Lytham St Annes FY8 1SW
YMCA Thornton: Victoria Road East, Thornton Cleveleys FY5 3SX
YMCA Fleetwood Pool & Gym: The Esplanade, Fleetwood FY7 6HF
YMCA Poulton Pool & Gym: Breck Road, Poulton le Fylde FY6 7HJ
YMCA Garstang: Windsor Road, Garstang PR3 1ED
YMCA Garstang Pool: Oak Road, Garstang PR3 1HT
What about the schools that were using YMCA Kirkham?
We have worked with the headteachers and PE departments of all Kirkham schools that were accessing YMCA Kirkham at the time of the closure to ensure they were all offered pool space at an alternative venue for the delivery of their Key Stage 2 swimming requirements. Kirkham Schools are currently accessing our swimming pools at YMCA St Annes Pool & Gym, YMCA Poulton and YMCA Garstang.
Is there anywhere else that I can take part in swimming lessons?
Yes, and whilst we accept it is not ideal for some, all children within the Kirkham swimming lesson programs were offered alternative swimming lesson availability at the pools at YMCA St Annes and YMCA Poulton which are within a 15-20 minute drive of YMCA Kirkham. We do accept that for some the journey to another YMCA may not be viable and so we are aware that Ribby Hall and some other private operators are also offering swimming lessons.
The YMCA facilities of YMCA Garstang and YMCA Fleetwood also provide swimming lessons and are within a 30 minute drive of YMCA Kirkham.
Who can I contact if I need further information?
Please email email@example.com
YMCA Fylde Coast
Stay up to date, follow us on:
Facebook: YMCA Fylde Coast
Linked In: YMCA Fylde Coast
Become a leisure member at Fylde Coast YMCA HERE.
If you have any membership enquiries please head to YMCA Memberships.
Click HERE for Swimming Enquiries.
Stay up to date with everything YMCA by signing up to our Newsletter HERE.