SPORTS minister Dick Caborn has pledged to ask Sport England to re-examine the case for funding a new swimming pool for Guisborough.

More than 3,500 people signed a petition against Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council's proposal to close the pool earlier this month.

The council said it had been informed by both Sport England and independent consultants that there were too many pools in the borough and that it would be better to have one main pool.

The authority promised not to close the pool as a result of council budgeting.

However, the long-term future of the pool still remains uncertain.

Ashok Kumar, MP for Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, with pool campaigners Rob Vincent-Jones and Carol Loughran, leisure consultant Graham Jones, and the council's leisure officer Carol Barnes, met with Mr Caborn to discuss options for the redevelopment of the swimming baths.

The minister pledged that he would personally ask Sport England to re-examine the case for funding a new pool - possibly in conjunction with other local initiatives now under way at Laurence Jackson School, in Guisborough, which has recently been granted Sports College status.