York City Baths Club is pulling out of swimming lessons at the Barbican pool, blaming a price hike and uncertainty over the pool's future.

The club, which serves more than 500 children in the York area, has sent letters to parents expressing regret at the situation and explaining that the teaching sessions are to be spread between New Earswick, St Peter's School and Edmund Wilson pools instead.

But there are fears many children will not be able to get to club sessions at alternative locations.

Coral Magson, a teacher of 30 years with the club, said: "It's very, very unfortunate that we've had to pull out of the Barbican.

"The fact that we can't cover that side of York now is a disaster, and we will definitely lose some children."

Training sessions have also been gradually reduced over a period of years at the Barbican due to gradual price increases, but the club cites a recent price hike as its reason for pulling out lessons now.

The Barbican, however, claims the club has been charged a ten per cent increase on the main pool combined with a ten per cent decrease on the training pool.

Dorothy Nicholson, of the Barbican Support Group, said: "We are very disappointed but we were told that it was a question of finance."

Helen Broadbent, site manager at the Barbican Centre, said: "Swimming is definitely meeting budget and has even lifted a little bit towards the end of the last financial year. We think it is possibly because of all the publicity telling people they have to use the pool or lose it."

Coun Bob Scrase, chairman of the council's leisure services committee, said: "It's still cheaper to swim in City of York Council pools with a York Card than it is to swim in surrounding areas like Tadcaster and Selby."