CONSTRUCTION on Radcliffe’s new £210,000 swimming pool will be delayed indefinitely because of the Government’s credit squeeze.

The Ministry of Housing and Local Government this week refused to sanction a loan for the scheme, which has already cost the town more than £25,000.

Radcliffe Council will now seek promises from Whitehall officials that the project will be given high priority once the current capital spending restrictions are lifted.

Contracts to start building on the Green Street site were just days away from being signed when the spending cuts were announced earlier this year, and the council launched a controversial appeal in August to allow the scheme to proceed immediately.

Councillors have repeatedly claimed that the current Whittaker Street baths are a danger to swimmers’ health and would be too costly to repair.

It was the Government who first suggested that Radcliffe Council abandon plans to renovate the old baths in favour of building a new pool.

Announcing the appeal in August, Cllr B Taylor said that the local authority was already committed to great expense on the project, including £20,000 in architects’ fees.

The Ministry replied to the request for an immediate £210,000 loan this week, saying that the special circumstances outlined did not constitute sufficient grounds to subvert the new spending policies.

Consent will be given, however, for a loan to cover any expenditure already incurred, and the Council will submit an application this week for a loan of £25,888.

While the Government has spoken in terms of a potential six-month delay to construction, it is by no means certain that the baths project will be given the go ahead immediately after spending restrictions are lifted.

Once construction does begin, it is expected the new baths will take around 18 months to complete, and it had been hoped the site would be ready by December 1966.

The approved plans for the baths include two pools, a 200-seat gallery, and a cafeteria.