“It is with regret that Runcorn Swimming Pool will officially close today, Thursday June 16.

“Unfortunately, despite our best efforts at staff retention and recruitment, it is now impossible with current staffing levels to keep the swimming pool open while providing the level of safety and service required. In recent weeks the leisure centre service has had to close its swimming facilities several times.

“The majority of staff at Runcorn Swimming Pool have been offered other positions and, although we have advertised for casual staff, we do not have sufficient qualified lifeguards to open and maintain services across all Council leisure sites. The shortage of lifeguards is not unique to Halton and it will take time, working with our partners, to increase the number of qualified lifeguards.

“Therefore, the difficult decision has been taken to move all remaining staff to other sites and close the swimming pool.

“All Runcorn Swimming Pool members will receive a refund of their June Direct Debit payment and all future payments have been stopped.

“On 2 March, following the decision by the Council to close the pool, the closure was put on hold for a maximum of six months, to give any interested third parties the opportunity to come forward with a costed and sustainable business plan to take over the running of the pool.

“That opportunity has been widely advertised to attract potential interest and is still available. Interested parties are invited to submit an expression of interest by 1 July 2022 via The Chest (the local authority procurement portal) –
https://www.the-chest.org.uk/  Registration to The Chest is free.

“After the closing date the Council will consider the applications and invite any suitable parties through to the next stage when a detailed business plan, including a financial profile, will be required.”