Fresh hope has been given that Maryport's only pool will re-open but spiralling costs may delay improvements.

Allerdale council has offered £30,000 over three years towards running costs while Maryport Town Council has budgeted £12,000 this year with chairman Peter Kendall promising to fight to ensure there is an annual amount for the pool in future budgets.

However, the cost of re-opening the swimming pool looks like it could exceed the £100,000 estimated when it closed in October last year which leaves the newly-organised charitable trust and uphill battle to climb.

Chairman, the Cumbria Community Foundation's grants and donor officer, Annalee Holliday, said: "We have had a survey completed. A sub-committee has been set up to study it and I don't have the exact figures. it does seem, though, that the state of the pool and its surrounds might be worse than was first thought.

"I think we are now looking at a phased development. There s a lot to do but we will start by trying to get the pool open and then look at the extras such as new changing rooms which are also badly needed."

The trust is working with the county council for an asset transfer which would give the local community ownership and responsibility for the swimming pool for 25 years.

She said Allerdale council had also invited the group to make an application for some capital funding once the total cost of repairs is known.

"Once we know what we are dealing with we will be writing to local businesses and to funding agencies for help," she said.

The trust has also set up a crowd funding page to allow residents to help.

The swimming pool, at the Netherhall Community Sports Centre was owned by the county council but run in conjunction with Netherhall school.

In October head teacher David Tromans suddenly announced its closure following a safety inspection.

The decision caused outcry in the town but Mr Tromans said he was forced to choose between the swimming pool and the education of his students when faced with the twin costs of the pool and the school boiler system.

Mrs Holliday said the independent survey of the pool showed that Mr Tromans was correct in his decision to close the pool immediately.

She said seven schools have already confirmed they would use the pool once it opened. It is also planned to have women's sessions, public swimming, training and specialist use such as with the local sea cadets. There would also be opportunity for private hire.

She said it was impossible to say when the pool would be open.

She thanked those who have already given support including the local council and lawyers Baines Wilson who have offered to take on their legal work for nothing.