MORE than 3,000 people have signed a petition in support of the campaign to save Sale Watersports Centre.

Campaigners will hand the petition over to Priory Ward councillors Jane Baugh and Barry Brotherton at Trafford Waterpark tomorrow, January 7.

Trafford Council announced in November that watersports provision at the park was o be withdrawn in order to save the cash-strapped local authority £1.1 million over six years.

Cllr Baugh said: “This is one of the largest petitions we have seen in Trafford and sends out a strong, clear message about how passionately the public feel about the importance of the Sale Watersports Centre.

“The closure of this unique centre will really hit hard at the healthy lifestyles so many people try to have.

“All this at a time when we should be encouraging more people to exercise, particularly with obesity on the rise and at a time when it is important to get young people interested in sports.

Cllr Baugh added: “From listening to local people, it is obvious the closure will have a devastating effect on all present and potential users.

“The coming of the Metrolink stop adjacent to the Water Park would undoubtedly bring in more people keen to try out the different Water sports activities.”

Kirsty Walden, said on behalf of the campaigners: “Trafford Watersports Centre is a facility that's is unique to the people of Trafford and surrounding boroughs, to close it at such short notice was a shock not only to the staff but to our loyal customers and the many schools and youth groups that use the facilities.

She added: “The support that we have received shows that this facility will be greatly missed and we would like to thank all of those who have helped us over the last few weeks.”

A Council spokesman said: “‘We are delighted that such a high level of interest has been generated in the future operation of Trafford Watersports Centre and at this stage we believe that we will be able to find a vibrant and viable operator able to generate improved opportunities and access to water sports in the future.

"Until such times as a new operator can be found, Sale Water Ski Club, Cheshire Jet Ski Club, the Senior Citizens Sailing Club, Sale Water Park Angling Club and Trafford Youth Service are continuing to use and enjoy the facilities available at Trafford Watersports Centre."