New Labour council reverses Blackburn centre closure

Kate Hollern
Image caption Kate Hollern said residents had fought hard to keep the centre

A leisure centre in Lancashire, which was set to close as part of council spending cuts, is to be kept open after Labour regained control of the council.

Blackburn with Darwen Council has joined forces with local people and staff to save Shadsworth leisure centre.

The swimming pool will re-open within two weeks and dry sports hours will be extended, the council said.

Two independents left the coalition, making the authority Labour-controlled.

New council Labour leader, Kate Hollern, said a management board including local residents was set up at a public meeting to run the centre.

The plans will need council approval.

Ms Hollern said: "This centre is so important for this area and residents have fought so hard to keep it.

"It is in the heart of a very deprived area and we will look at alternatives to save money.

"The council will still run the centre but will listen to users and residents."

Shadsworth campaigner Jade Hudson, who helped lead the campaign to keep the centre open, and is a member of the new board said: "We have plenty of good ideas but we need local people to come down and use the centre."

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