A headteacher says he had to close a community swimming pool to save his school.

David Tromans, head of Netherhall School in Maryport, revealed last week that the facility – the only swimming pool in town – would close on October 19.

He said he had called on Cumbria County Council to complete a survey of the entire school because of his own health and safety concerns.

The outcome had been worse than anyone anticipated. The school’s boiler and heating system were urgently in need of replacement, double glazing needed to be installed in some areas of the school and a list of other jobs needed to be done for the health and safety of students and staff.

The 25-year-old heating in the pool room, however, was probably the worst.

Mr Tromans said he was genuinely afraid that it would blow up and someone would be hurt. Fixing it, however, would cost around £150,000.

The pool funded by local authority and community money was built at Netherhall School but now austerity and a lack of school maintenance has forced its closure.

Mr Tromans said the “age of austerity” meant the local authority was receiving less money, school budgets were being cut and there was simply not the funding available to fix the pool.

“Faced with this choice, the local authority made the correct moral decision to focus their limited resources on addressing the school’s heating issue, to avoid the probable closure of the school,” he said. “Works on the school’s heating system will begin next week, for which, students and staff are extremely appreciative.

“When I started at the school in January of 2016, the school faced a significant deficit budget and spending was spiralling out of control. Since my tenure, and for the first time in recent school history, the school budget has been managed effectively, some of the deficit has been paid off and there has been no further increase in overspend.”

He said in recent times the local authority subsidy on the pool had decreased from £41,000 a year to £25,000.

Workington MP Sue Hayman has joined a growing campaign to keep the pool open.

Mr Tromans said a public meeting will be called soon to look at a way forward, with Mrs Hayman hoping to attend.

She said: “Wigton went through something similar and was saved. I have had several people come to me this weekend because they are so concerned about the closure. I will help find a way to save the pool if it is at all possible.”

Cumbria county, Allerdale borough and Maryport town councillor Carni-McCarron-Holmes said it was essential the pool was saved: “Every child at school in Maryport learns to swim there.

“It was built by the local authority after a child drowned at sea. I remember my father, who was on the council, vowing that not another Maryport child’s life would be lost because they could not swim.”

A county council spokesman said: "The headteacher and governing body have decided to close the swimming pool due to continued revenue pressures for running such facilities. The council will continue to support the school in prioritising it’s budgets."

He added that the provision of the swimming pool was not a statutory duty of the council or the school.