'ILL-FEELING' from the community about the closure of Keswick Leisure Centre spilled into the Allerdale Borough Council chamber.

Members of the community in Keswick are angry about Allerdale Borough Council's closure of Keswick Leisure Centre, a decision which was made in the Summer due to its decline and the finances that would be needed to re-open it.

Maintenance work at the pool which was carried out during the pandemic revealed age-related issues, the council said at the time that it was already more than 10 years past its lifespan.

Many in the community are angry about the decision and the mothballing of the pool before an alternative facility has been found.

Allerdale Borough Council member for Keswick Markus Campbell-Savours successfully proposed a motion to council on Wednesday that: "This council supports in principle the Keswick community in their quest to see a new leisure centre, complete with modern gym facility and swimming pool."

The motion also proposed: "This council acknowledges the sense of ill feeling within the community towards Allerdale Council, who have closed the pool with no clear plan for its replacement."

The Labour councillor's motion also proposed: "Subject to the appropriate decision-making process we also recognise our responsibility in delivering a plan for the new facility as quickly as possible."

The public including members of the Friends of Keswick Leisure Centre group attended the meeting to voice their displeasure.

Resident Ian Stockdale said: "What does the council regard as a significant effect on a community? And what criteria have they applied regarding Keswick Leisure Centre's closure which the council has not considered to be a key decision."

Executive member for leisure and tourism Anthony Markley responded that it was classed as "non-key" because "there was no impact on the management fee therefore the decision would not result in additional expenditure or savings."

He added: "The decision was not to close the whole facility, the gym facility would remain operational but the pool would remain closed."

Speaking at the meeting which took place in Keswick for the first time in more than 20 years, councillor Campbell-Savours said: "The problem we have is that there are still many people in my community who resent the fact that we are closing the existing facility at a point where we still have no plan in place.

"I do ask that the council moves forward, I do ask that the council backs this forward looking motion for the people of Keswick who feel that the town contributes so much.

"But I won't pretend that moving forward is enough, or that we've done the best for Keswick."

The public gallery applauded after the councillor's speech.

Councillor Markley said that a tender, with the deadline of September 30, was issued for the work to develop a comprehensive review for the demand of sporting and leisure facilities in Keswick. He proposed that the line about "ill-feeling" from the community should be "struck out" but the amendment to the motion was defeated.

At the close of the debate, a member of the public stormed out before saying: "In reality this town won't have a facility for 10 years."