A GROUP of swimmers is encouraging people to join its class in a bid to keep a pool open.

Guisborough Swimming Pool is at the centre of a campaign to have it replaced because many people believe the town needs more modern facilities.

But the pool's Aqua Fit class say they like it just as it is, although they recognise the need for change.

The class consists mainly of women over the age of 60 who find that Aqua Fit - a gentle fitness class held in the water - is the only exercise they can enjoy. For many, it is recommended by their doctors.

Member Quita Owen said members come from across Redcar and Cleveland, as well as from North Yorkshire, because they like the pool so much.

"The pool still gives a great deal of pleasure to very many people and we want to promote Aqua Fit as good exercise," she said. "The pool is old but we want to encourage people to keep using it and supporting it.

"It has a nice, friendly atmosphere, it is kept clean and the staff are lovely.

"We can't afford to wait too long for the new pool at our age.

Mrs Owen stressed the group was supporting Guisborough Swimming Club and others who have formed a steering group to raise £10,000 for a feasibility study into a new pool.

Members of the Aqua Fit group attended the steering group's meeting last Friday to show their support.

Rob Vincent-Jones, from the steering group, said the Aqua Fit women suggested they applied for money from the Department of Health for the "exercise on prescription" health benefits of Aqua Fit.

The steering group next meets on January 25