A PLAN to build a major swimming pool and leisure centre on the site of a Bradford city centre engineering firm has moved a step closer.

The Telegraph & Argus can exclusively reveal that precision engineering company Wetherby Engineering has agreed a deal to sell its base at Britannia Mills, Portland Street, Bradford, to Bradford Council for an undisclosed sum.

In March, it emerged that the Council had approached Wetherby Engineering with an offer to buy its base, near Trafalgar House police station, but that the firm was still considering the offer.

Now both parties have confirmed that the sale has been agreed.

Wetherby Engineering manager Charles Wyatt said: "The deal has been done."

He declined to answer any further questions about the sale, or what it means for the firm.

Previously, Wetherby Engineering was understood to be looking at the possibility of relocating to a different site, but rumours have been circulating that the company is making redundancies.

When asked whether people were being made redundant, Mr Wyatt said: "Possibly. I would like to make no comment at the moment."

The plan for a new city centre pool forms part of a wider shake-up of leisure facilities across the district.

The centre would have a 25-metre, eight-lane main pool, a learner pool and a diving pool, with associated games and studio space.

It would replace the ailing Richard Dunn Sports Centre at Odsal, which Bradford Council’s executive member for sport, Councillor Andrew Thornton, has previously described as a “black hole” in the authority’s finances.

But the Richard Dunn centre would not close until the new pool had opened.

The shake-up also includes proposals to close or pull out of community pools at Bingley, Bowling and Queensbury, and open three new ones in different areas.

Cllr Thornton said yesterday: "We have done a deal to acquire the [Britannia Mills] site and we will be going out to consult on the full programme very soon."

He said the full swimming pool shake-up plan would be going out for a public consultation this summer, but declined to give further details at this stage.

When asked whether land had been bought for the other three pools, Cllr Thornton said: "That is currently what we are working through."