A compromise deal to save Ledbury Swimming Club while opening up more pool time for public use has been struck.

The deal has been welcomed by the club and pool operators, who were at loggerheads just a few weeks ago.

In March, Ledbury Swimming Club said it would disband unless pool hire times could be sorted out quickly with Halo Leisure, the pool operators.

The move would have hit the swimming careers of 130 children in a club that won 17 gold meals at the recent Worcester-shire County Championships.

But this week, after extensive talks, the club and Halo issued a joint statement saying: "A workable compromise has been agreed on the swimming times for the club, and both parties are committed to develop a partnership for the benefit of the community."

The club will announce det-ails to members this evening (Friday) at a summer disco at Ledbury Rugby Club.

But chairman Roger Jones said: "The younger swimmers will lose one hour a week, but hopefully the deal will minimalise the impact on the club and the club definitely will not close. Halo were helpful in the end. It was a meaningful negotiation and we are keen to work together in the future."

Originally, Mr Jones said that the club's success was only possible because of the amount of pool time it enjoyed. He said he would sooner close the club than watch it wither.

Scott Rolfe, Halo's head of operations, said the peak hours booked by the club had been causing "severe frustration" among the public. He added there was a waiting list of 150 children wanting lessons who could not be accommodated.

Now the club will share a teaching session for children on a Monday, from 5pm to 5.30pm. On Wednesday, its sessions will start at 6pm instead of 5pm and the first 30 minutes will be shared with the public. On Friday, sessions will start half an hour later at 5.30pm.

The deal was brokered by Herefordshire councillor Roy Stockton, who called it "a sensible, rational and thoroughly commendable solution".

It was also welcomed by Ledbury mayor Keith Francis, the town council also having worked towards agreement.