FUNDING to refurbish a town’s historic swimming baths could be sought early in the new year.

Community leaders have decided to turn Buckley’s old swimming baths into a centre to hold markets and public meetings, stage productions and as a venue for indoor sports such as bowling.

Members of the working group looking into the future of the baths are hoping to get charitable status for the project by January.

Group chairman, Cllr John Thornton, said: “We are working on getting charitable status. Until we get that we can’t apply for any funding.

“Running alongside that we are looking at where we can get funding from. We are hoping by the beginning of next year we will have some funds.

“We will do it as fast as we can.”

The baths were very popular when they opened in 1928, but the building was shut in 2005, when a new swimming pool opened at Buckley Leisure Centre.

While work will take place at the rear of the building its listed frontage will remain intact.

Cllr Thornton added: “The site is right in the centre of town, and it will be a general space, everyone will be pleased with it. This is included as part of the Buckley Masterplan.”

Suggestions include putting a false floor over the baths so it can be used for storage.