That is the reaction of Prince Henry’s Grammar School to news that Leeds City Council is looking to end its funding support for Chippindale Pool.

The council is considering the move as part of a cost cutting drive to try to plug a multi-million pound deficit in its budget for 2021-22.

Based at Prince Henry’s, the pool is not owned by the council but the authority has an agreement in place to support it - and stands to save £37,000 in 2020-21, plus £50,000 in ‘other areas’, by ending that arrangement.

The report to the Executive Board notes that alternative swimming facilities at Aireborough Leisure Centre are only a few miles away - and mentions that talks with a ‘third party provider’ have been held.

Local politicians and the school itself, however, are angry that the town could lose such a valued facility.

Headteacher at Prince Henry’s Grammar School, Janet Sheriff, said: “While we appreciate the pressures on Leeds City Council this is devastating news at a point when schools’ budgets are already stretched to breaking point.

“The partnership with the council has enabled Prince Henry’s to keep the pool in use as a community asset for school students and other local people since it was opened in 1974.

“The potential withdrawal of the council from our partnership leaves the Chippindale Pool in real danger of closure. We will, of course, explore every possible option to maintain this facility for the community.”

MP Alex Sobel (Lab, Leeds North West) said: “I am extremely concerned and disappointed to hear that funding is likely to be withdrawn by the council for Chippindale Pool. It angers me that after years of Tory cuts our council has been left with a £120 million deficit, leaving them with no options other than to make these hard decisions.

“I will work with both the council and the school to look for a reversal of this decision or alternative ways we can keep the pool open.”

Councillor Ryk Downes (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon) is also vowing to do what he can to save a facility where thousands of children have learned to swim. Criticising the council for not talking to local councillors beforehand, he added: “If cuts are required we should be consulted and all options should be considered.”