THREE years ago, the future of Settle Pool was unsure. It had lost an annual grant from Craven District Council, and was set the task of raising the entire cost of running the facility itself. Now, the pool, which opened in 1975, is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) with a board of volunteer trustees which meets every month. And, it remains at the heart of the community.

THERE can be few indoor swimming pools in the country where people can enjoy a swim while marvelling at such wonderful views. But, Settle and area pool, in Kendal Road, Giggleswick, can boast fantastic scenery - including Penyghent - the favourite of the Yorkshire Three Peaks.

Just a few years ago, the future of Settle Pool was up in the air. The pool along with other organisations had been told by a then cash-strapped Craven District Council that its grant funding was to stop. For the pool, the loss of its annual £16,000 grant was a major blow. Fortunately, for the community, the pool committee got to work, surveyed businesses and residents in the area, and used a grant from North Yorkshire County Council to partly fund a business case, to take the pool through the next few years.

Now, the pool, which has been at the heart of the community since opening in 1975, is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) with a board of volunteer trustees which meets every month to oversee the business operation of the pool.

There is also a Friends of Settle Pool group, which helps raise funds through paper recycling, and its ‘200 Club’. The pool is home to the Settle Stingrays competitive swimming club, for seven to 17 year olds, schools use the pool for activities, there is a mums and toddlers group, and of course, general swimming. So treasured is it by the community, businesses, such as the Courtyard Diary, hold fundraising events in support.

The pool also has its own fundraising shop in Duke Street, which sells donated items.

Now, following the resignation of trustees, Helen Firth, a prominent figure on the pool committee for many years, and Richard Handford, there is an opportunity for two new people to join the other volunteer trustees to continue with the good work.

Pat Taylor, committee chairman, who thanked both Helen and Richard at the January meeting of the committee, said expertise in any area of business would be welcome in the new trustees, but enthusiasm in the pool and taking it forward, were essential.

“The pool is of course a vital local asset and involvement from the community in Settle and the surrounding area has been excellent. The Friends of Settle Pool have long supported the pool via waste paper recycling and their 200 club,” said Pat.

Fellow committee member, Trevor Graveson, added: “The last 12 months has seen an increase in profits from the charity shop, which is providing significant financial support for the pool’s operating costs.

“In addition, a recent recent cheese and wine event raised £1,500, thanks to The Courtyard Dairy and Buon Vino, and the Co-op have chosen the pool as its local charity and many other organisations and businesses keep up a steady stream of fundraising.”

Those running the pool business have also discovered a vital source of funding has been the advertising boards in the pool hall which are sponsored by businesses in the area.

Several boards are now up for renewal, and the committee hopes more businesses will take the opportunity to sponsor one, raise their profile, and help the pool at the same time.

Jenn Hodgkinson manages the pool, with her friendly team, and together, they have seen general admissions going up every year. Swimming lessons and school sessions also run at a pleasing level, say Pat and Trevor.

“There is an exciting programme of activities provided seven days a week, and overall, here is a healthy outlook for the pool which is overcoming challenges that have been thrown at it in recent years.

“But it is an ongoing project and the assistance from trustees is vital, so if anyone can help, we would be very pleased to hear from them,” say Pat and Trevor.

The pool itself measures 20 metres by seven metres, and at its deepest is two metres. It is open every day of the week and runs all sorts of activities for all ages and abilities. Swimming is, after all, the best exercise to do with no impact injury.

Parking is free, and the pool is accessible for those with disabilities, with ramp access at the entrance, and a pool hoist to get in and out of the water. Changing rooms and showers are accessible straight onto the pool side.

The pool kiosk sells essentials, such as goggles and nose clips, and even swim nappies for babies, while hair driers, arm bands and floats are provided free of charge.

Anyone interested in becoming a trustee can leave their details at the pool, which is on Kendal Road, or telephone the pool on 01729 823626, and Pat will arrange a meeting with current trustees, and an opportunity to sit in on a meeting.

The pool is also looking for volunteers able to offer some specific expertise to work with the committee without taking on the role as a trustee.

To find out more about activities at the pool, visit the website: