CAMPAIGNERS in Oxford say they have come up with a viable business plan to save a threatened leisure centre.

Oxford City Council is preparing to sell the Temple Cowley Pools site for housing once its new multi-million pound complex in Blackbird Leys is complete later this year.

But Save Temple Cowley Pools says it has a viable plan to keep the centre open.

Campaigner Nigel Gibson has told the Oxford Mail the group is preparing a bid for the site alongside a developer and housing association.

He refused to say who was involved with the bid for commercial reasons, but added: “Our calculations show that the whole thing is totally viable.”

The city council has previously said it wants £1.5m for the 1.3 acre site in Temple Road, Cowley.

The campaign group’s bid will involve the building of 30 flats around the centre.

Mr Gibson said: “What we are looking at is doing the necessary refurbishment to the pool to bring it back as that will bring in a continuous income.”

And he said the group would also offer the city council a slice of the profits, adding: “We don’t have any interest in making a huge profit in what we are doing. This is a community-led bid for the benefit of the community.

“And a way of benefiting from it is to make sure the public purse will get some return on that.

“Our view is this is not for a private group to make a profit, it is for the community to benefit from.”

The deadline for commercial bids for the site was Wednesday but Oxford City Council has extended it by a week.

Council spokeswoman Louisa Dean said the deadline had been relaxed to help the group.

She said: “We have agreed an extension to allow the community group who are preparing a bid to purchase the site, to be able to make a compliant submission.

“The deadline has been extended by one week to assist them.”