SWIMMERS campaigning for a pool in North Herefordshire fear further delay because of 'red tape.'

Sport England, which doles out lottery grants, has insisted on a fact-finding study.

The 'Facilities Planning Model Study,' carried with Sheffield Hallam University, will not be completed until the end of March.

One year will then have passed since Herefordshire Council's sudden closure of Leominster's Sydonia pool on health and safety grounds.

Fresh blow

News of the delay has come as a new blow to swimmers following Sport England's rejection last autumn of the first bid for a new pool.

Ian Elliott, secretary of the Kingfisher Swimming Club, said the club was baffled by Sport England's new demand.

"We don't understand why such a study it wasn't utilised before," he said.

The club is keeping up pressure for a 25-metre pool - Leominster could be asked to settle for a smaller pool. The council is to give an update at the Leominster local forum tonight, Thursday.