THE iconic Arthur Hill Pool could be given a second chance when council leaders consider a first-of-its-kind community challenge on April 10.

After Reading Borough Council decided to close the Cemetery Junction baths in October last year, keen swimmers and community activists began campaigning for its continued existence.

Although its doors were shut two months later, the Campaign to Save Arthur Hill Pool raised £10,000 to take the project forward and have now submitted a business plan to the council.

The group's application calls for the pool to be re-opened under the 2011 Localism Act's Community Right To Challenge and is one of the first cases nationally of a community group bidding to taking over a sports facility.

Campaigner Peter Burt said: “Our plan sets out a number of options for the future of Arthur Hill Pool and identifies funding streams which will help encourage use of the pool and undertake urgently needed repair work.

“The council has the opportunity to help re-open the pool by using money from the Community Infrastructure Levy on a planned new housing development near Cemetery Junction towards repairing Arthur Hill.

"This would go a long way towards helping to plug the funding gap which local councillors claim is the main reason they have closed the pool.

“Reading Borough Council recently admitted that it is currently costing them as much to keep Arthur Hill Pool closed as it would if the pool had stayed open, so by any sensible standard the Council should be working with the community to re-open the pool for public swimming."

The bid will be considered by the council's Policy Committee at a meeting on April 10.