THE future of two swimming pools in north Lancashire looks buoyant to the delight of groups campaigning to save them.

Hornby pool closed last March to the dismay of swimmers in several Lune Valley villages and schools. Carnforth pool was also due to close on New Year's Eve, after Lancaster City Council said it could no longer afford to keep the properties open.

Campaigners have worked long and hard to keep hope afloat for the pools by raising money, preparing business cases and setting up charitable companies to take the leisure buildings over.

Now the pools' owner, Lancashire County Council, has agreed in principle that ownership can be transferred to the volunteer-led community groups.

"Everybody is very pleased," said Bob McGachie, chairman of the Lune Valley Community Society, set up to save Hornby's 40-year-old pool.

"It's been very hard work but I think it will be well worth it once we've got the place sorted out and back into operation."

Campaigners are also delighted with the news in Carnforth. Fiona Wood, director and trustee of charitable company Carnforth Community Swimming Pool Ltd, said there would be some refurbishment at the pool before a New Year opening.

Local schools and the community will be able to enjoy swimming lessons, aqua aerobics, mother and toddler sessions, public swimming, adult-only swimming and parties. School children have also been asked to design a fun new logo, with entries to be delivered to the pool or emailed to by November 20.

First prize is a pool party, second prize a ten-week block of swimming lessons and third place a day family swimming pass. For more, follow the pool on Facebook @carnforthpool

School children are also to be invited to dream up a new logo for Hornby pool, which has been mothballed since April. Campaigners hope to have it open again on February 1 next year. Well-wishers have already pledged around £30,000 to the pool fund.

Mr McGachie told the Gazette he met with head teachers in the Lune Valley's schools recently to discuss a new ozone system to keep the water clean. This would enable children to use the pool who have allergies or asthma aggravated by chlorine.

After the decision by Lancashire County Council's cabinet, Cllr Phillippa Williamson said: "We've already been working with the charitable organisations for some time to ensure their proposals are robust and sustainable and will continue to work with them to transfer the pools into their ownership as soon as possible."