THE former Runcorn Swimming Pool looks set to be sold off after alternative uses for the building failed to materialise.

The facility on Bridge Street closed its doors in June with the council saying a national shortage of lifeguards had made it ‘impossible’ to staff the building as well as its other centres at Brookvale in Runcorn and Kingsway in Widnes.

The decision was initially postponed following pressure from the community, ward councillors and Halton MP Derek Twigg, with the council agreeing to invite expressions of interest from groups willing to take it over.

Details were published on the local authority bidding portal The Chest and several organisations viewed the advert, with an open day taking place in April, but no expressions of interest came forward.

As some interest to use the building was expressed by community groups, the council ran a further procurement round - this time seeking expressions of interest for alternative uses for the building other than as a swimming pool. But the council said it received no questions or requests for further information, and no expressions of interest.

At the time, the pool had six members of staff, but that reduced to one after others found alternative employment.

Following its closure, the council removed any equipment it could use at other sites, the pool was drained, and suppliers collected plant room equipment on loan.

The council’s insurer has now insisted that the building be boarded up.

At a meeting to be held next Thursday, Halton's ruling cabinet will be asked to approve putting the building on the market.

A report to the cabinet said: “The council has reviewed the site and the current budgetary position means it cannot afford the significant investment needed to maintain the building.

“There are ongoing costs for the building, which include some utility costs and annual service charges. Expenditure will be in line with other vacant buildings and kept to a minimum. The building condition is likely to deteriorate.”

Runcorn Town Centre is currently undergoing a £23.6m government Towns Fund regeneration programme including seven projects such as the Brindley redevelopment, but the report said the scheme had not identified a use for the swimming pool building.

It added: “It is proposed that the building is declared surplus to requirements, and the council seeks to place the property on the open market for sale. The sale would be subject to planning, and any proposed end use would need to be sensitive to the wider regeneration plans for the town.”