TRUSTEES of under threat Settle Area Swimming Pool are to stage an open evening in January to explain its financial position.

In November, the trustees said the pool was in serious danger of closing because of rising costs and its failure to secure emergency funding from the Government's £60million Swimming Pool Support Fund.

The trustees immediately took a range of measures, including raising prices, and intensifying efforts to obtain public funding.

They also cut costs, opened a second charity shop and put in place plans to increase use of the pool and the related fitSpace area.

They have also held a 'positive' meeting with Skipton MP Julian Smith and made representations to North Yorkshire Council and Sport England.

But, even with an expected drop in energy prices coming up, it will not be enough to put the pool's finances 'back on an even keel'.

In a statement, the trustees say they have been 'heartened' by a positive response from the public - individuals and local businesses.

The trustees state: "This has included at least one substantial donation as well as offers of help and suggestions on ways to raise money and reduce costs.

"Many of those responding have asked for further details on issues such as the measures being taken; the causes of the financial problems; and how they can help.

"In order to provide an opportunity to deal with these queries and to give pool users and supporters the chance to talk to trustees in more detail an open evening is to be held. T "In the meantime it should be noted that the principal cause of the month on month losses now being incurred is the tenfold increase in gas prices over the past year from 2p per unit to more than 20p.

"Prices are expected to fall in the coming months, but this alone will not be enough to put the pool’s finances back on an even keel."

Further measures are also being taken to encourage pool use and a new membership scheme has been set up to benefit regular users. Supporters are being reminded that donations to the pool can be made both on a regular and one-off basis through the pool website.

The pool, which Julian Smith MP re-opened in October last year following a £840,000 refurbishment, sees nearly 450 people attending weekly on average.

It also provides swimming lessons to an additional 360 local children, and eight schools use the facilities every fortnight as part of the National Curriculum. Following his meeting with trustees, Colin Coleman and Chris Hirst, Mr Smith said: “It was great to meet Colin and Chris for an update.

“I’m really pleased to hear how popular the facility is with residents and the brilliant array of services that it offers; it’s crucial that we find a way to ensure that it can continue doing so for years to come.

“I’d strongly encourage local residents to make use of the great facilities the pool has to offer.”

The public meeting will take place at pool, at Kendal Road, Giggleswick,  on Wednesday, January 24 at 7pm.