A SENIOR Liberal Democrat MP has added his voice to calls to protect Yearsley Pool, on a visit to the city.

Sir Malcolm Bruce is the party's deputy leader and MP for Gordon, in North East Scotland, and was in York on Friday.

He met some of the action group fighting to secure the future of the hundred year old pool.

Sir Malcolm said: "I can see you have a very committed action group here, who have been working for a long time to secure its future. This is a beautiful pool, and I hear it is in very good nick, and building a modern equivalent would cost around £30 million."

He also spoke of the potential to increase revenues at the pool by using some of the vacant development land around the site, owned by Nestle, to create other facilities like a gym, saying that as the holders of the Rowntree's impressive legacy in York the company would want to help preserve the pool.

He added: "I would hope that all the parties would work together."

The party's group leader on City of York Council Keith Aspden said that while they were not arguing for the whole £250,000 annual subsidy to be reinstated, they wanted to find other ways of cutting running costs, or increasing revenue, so the pool could continue.

On Thursday night, action group leader Fiona Evans presented a petition to the city council with more than 6500 signatures pleading with the council not to slash its entire £250,000 support for the pool.

She said the public who support their campaign "grasped not only the historical significance of Yearsley Pool and its benefits to sport and community fitness, but also the vital role this large pool plays in safeguarding the water safety of our children, especially in a city with two rivers.

"A zero subsidy for Yearsley Pool in 2016 is nothing more than a plan for closure guided by expediency, rather than principle.

Labour has said it has no plans to close the pool but has said it is unrealistic not to look at ways to reduce the £250,000 subsidy, at a time when so many services are being reduced as a result of Government funding cuts.