Cornwall Council will close Falmouth's Ships and Castles Leisure Centre

Ships and Castles in Falmouth

The Ships and Castle Leisure Centre in Falmouth will close - despite attempts to save it.

The leisure centre will close its doors for the final time today (March 31) despite councillors successfully calling in Cornwall Council's cabinet's decision to close it.

It was earmarked for closure after its operator GLL said it could no longer afford to run it. Tonight at 8pm, it will close permanently.

The cabinet members who made the final decision to close the leisure centre said that the financial information that was brought forward showed that keeping the pool open was not economically viable.

They are now working with the Falmouth Town Council to work on plans for a future leisure centre for the Falmouth and Penryn area.

Campaigners have been trying to save the Falmouth centre since September. They say that this decision is devastating.

Director of Pendennis Leisure CIC, Gemma Adams said "We've tried to remain quite professional as Pendennis Leisure throughout, but on a personal level as a swimming teacher, as a mum, as a community member, I'm gutted. I'm absolutely gutted.

"I feel that there's been no human element in any of this and it's all been about finance and if that's the case, and that's what it's all been about, why have we been in this farce, if you like, for the last six months?"

It will hold a final fun swim this evening.

More than 5,000 people signed a petition to keep the pool open ahead of yesterday's meeting.

Cabinet Portfolio holder for customers Richard Pears said that had those signatures translated into memberships, the outcome may have been different.

He said: "This is a very, very underused facility and we want the result of this to be that Falmouth ends up with the sort of pool that it needs.

"Something that is fit for purpose, that does serve the community properly and that is where we should put our time and that is where we should our money.

“We are grateful for the hard work that went into the bids to keep Ships and Castle open, but unfortunately none were assessed as being economically viable.

“These are very difficult decisions that are also being faced by other local authorities. We must ensure our critical services and statutory obligations are met - bearing in mind that there is no statutory requirement for local authorities to provide leisure services.”

“We are committed to continue to work with the community, partners and stakeholders to develop plans for an alternative leisure offering in the Falmouth area.”

The Council is currently working with the schools in Falmouth to ensure pupils are able to access swimming lessons in alternative venues.