THE future of a popular swimming baths in Rock Ferry is in doubt amid rumours of a possible closure.

Staff and users of Byrne Avenue Baths have heard that the council plans to close the 75-year-old building in June and applications to build flats on the site had been submitted.

But Wirral Council has denied this, saying that there are no plans to close.

Staff from the centre held a one-day strike in December, concerned that their jobs were under threat and those who regularly use it fear that a vital community resource would be lost if any demolition went ahead.

Sheila McNichols is among the regular users who are concerned about the centre's future. She said: "The swimming baths have been used by the people of Rock Ferry and Wirral for years, generations of children have learned to swim there and now it is used by the community for all sorts of events."

A spokesman for the council said: "Byrne Avenue baths ceased to be a council-run facility a number of years ago, having been transferred to Byrne Avenue Trust for future operation.

"The council has been in discussion with the trust regarding the condition of the facility and is working to seek a solution to the issue.

"We have not been made aware that the trust plans to close the facility and have therefore not had any discussions regarding alternative uses for the site."

Labour councillor for Rock Ferry, Moira McLaughlin who has been contacted by nearby residents, said: "The issue with the local authority is that the building is made safe and at this moment the trustees are trying to secure the funds to carry out the work."

At the time of going to press, no-one from the trust was available for comment.