A dad has voiced his upset after the closure of Radcliffe Pool has meant he can no longer attend special swimming sessions with his son who has autism.

Corey Jones used to love taking his 13-year-old son Ellis to an accessibility swim class at Radcliffe Leisure Centre on Saturdays before it had to suddenly close earlier than expected.

The pool was first closed for 12 days from August 7 while a repair was arranged.

This was initially successful but the heating system failed again soon after meaning the pool had to close for a second time on August 24.

But after then, further investigations revealed significant corrosion to the heating pipework and steel supports, particularly within the section directly under the swimming pool.

Read more: Radcliffe Swimming Pool permanently closed after 8 years

The sessions were specifically for children with special needs and something Ellis loved to go to.

Corey, from Radcliffe, said: “I have a son who has autism and I see him every week, when I’m not working on a Saturday.

"I always took him to Radcliffe Pool where they did a disabled swim.

“We had been going for years and Ellis really enjoyed going and I also enjoyed going and seeing that side to him.”

Ellis currently attends Elms Bank School in Whitefield who have access to swimming lessons but he loved going to the Saturday sessions too.

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Corey added: “I didn’t know Radcliffe Pool was closing but when it did, I had a look to see if Bury Pool did a similar session however theirs is on during the week when Ellis is at school so now, we can’t go anymore.

“Ellis doesn’t understand why he can’t go swimming anymore and for us it was a really important thing because he does really enjoy going.

“Sometimes we ask him what he wants to do because he can speak but very limited and he mentions swimming often and it upsets him at times.”

The sessions at Bury Pool are on Thursdays from 12pm to 1pm when Ellis would be at school.

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Earlier this month a notice was issued to leisure centre users which said the decision to close the pool was a “difficult” one to make and does not affect the Radcliffe centre's gym, studio hall and sports hall.

Plans are in place to build swimming facilities at the proposed £30m Radcliffe Civic Hub

The future facilities are said to include a six-lane 25m swimming pool, separate training and teaching pool with a moveable floor and poolside seating for up to 150 spectators.

A council spokesperson said: “Radcliffe Pool has had to close so that the new high school for Radcliffe can be built on the site.

"But new leisure facilities will soon be built in the town centre in a multi-million pound Civic Hub, which will include a multi-lane swimming pool among many other attractions.

“In the meantime, alternative swimming facilities are available at our other pools in Bury and Ramsbottom.  

"Details can be found at https://buryleisure.bury.gov.uk/our-centres/radcliffe-leisure-centre/important-information-about-radcliffe-pool.

“There is an accessible swim session at Castle on Thursdays, and also at Ramsbottom Pool on a Sunday from 12.15pm to 1.15pm.

“We want to ensure that everyone in the community is catered for, and we will be looking very soon at programming pool sessions in all our venues so that all customers feel included.”

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