OWNERS of a gymnastics club who want to convert the former swimming pool at Moss Farm are close to making their dream a reality.

Cheshire Gymnastics have agreed a long-term lease with landowners Cheshire West and Chester Council, and work on the building can begin shortly.

“This is the most exciting stage we’ve reached,” said Mark Hudson, who runs the club along with his wife Laura.

“It’s been an ambition of ours for a long time to manage our own bespoke facility, and we’d love for Northwich to become the home of a regional centre of excellence for our sport.”

They received the keys earlier this week.

He told the Guardian that a bid for a £100,000 grant from the council’s capital strategy board had been accepted.

Once a legal agreement is in place, that money will cover the cost of bringing the structure – which has been closed since Memorial Court opened in the town centre early in 2015 – up to date.

“I’m delighted the pool hall will now be brought back into productive use for gymnastics and physical activity,” said Cllr Louise Gittins, borough council cabinet member for communities and wellbeing.

“Cheshire Gymnastics will create a fantastic activity hub with all the benefits that brings, especially for young people.

“It will make a positive contribution as well towards the continuing development of Moss Farm as an exemplar site for sport.”

The Hudsons have also received backing for their idea from their sport’s governing body.

British Gymnastics have pledged a five-figure sum, increased to £90,000, from their Facility Fund to help pay for the building’s overhaul.

They have also set aside £9,500 to spend on new equipment.

“An additional £30,000 from our funding stream has become available due to another project not going ahead,” said Neil Moulster, British Gymnastics’ facilities development manager.

“We’ll now co-operate with the club to ensure the work is finished within the required timescale.”

Hudson said an application for further grant aid from Sport England would be submitted shortly.

The club plans to conduct a major survey of potential users to support that proposal, and has encouraged people to take part.

A link to a questionnaire on their website, cheshiregymnastics.com, is now live.

In addition, a waiting list to register for classes planned at Moss Farm has started.

“All those that sign up will be provided with a priority place,” added he added.

Northwich Guardian:

An artist's impression of how the inside of the former pool building at Moss Farm will look once it has been converted by Cheshire Gymnastics