Ref. 25851-18Highworth residents are unleashing their creative skills to raise cash for a new pool roof.

Trustees at the Recreation Centre need to come up with £800,000 for a state-of-the-art, sliding roof and major refurbishment work.

To help them on their way, a group of fundraisers has devised a tile-design activity.

For a minimum donation of £2.50 people are able to decorate a four-inch square tile with whatever pattern they choose, whether it's a simple signature or an elaborate masterpiece.

The tiles are then fired to ensure their durability, before being mounted on display boards at the Recreation Centre.

Phil Battaglia, 79, of Park Avenue, is one of the original trustees and uses the pool five times a week.

The former tool room machinist said: "We need a cover for the pool but at the same time I would hate to lose the outdoor facility.

"It's been quite an experience to have been involved since it was built in 1967. We used to do everything there from lifesaving to checking the chlorine levels."

Chair of the fundraising group Sally Williams said the tile design was a fun and easy way to raise cash.

"I had seen a similar way to raise funds for a scout and guide headquarters in my home town of Melbourne, in Derbyshire," she said.

"We have taken this idea to several local events and the scheme has been well received. Already 174 tiles have been decorated and fired."

Sally, 26, of Park Avenue, added: "It ties in with how the bricks were paid for in the original building of the centre, when people sponsored individual bricks."

The group is now hoping companies will paint larger tiles with motifs or logos, for a minimum donation of £50.

The lido underwent an £18,000 refurbishment in March 2002, but its future was brought into question following frequent vandal attacks.

In July last year, the pool was closed after teenagers covered the sides in broken glass. It was the third vandalism attack in just six weeks.

Trustees believe a roof will help prevent further attacks as well as enabling the pool to stay open throughout the year.

So far £301,000 has been raised in grants for the project from Swindon Borough Council, Highworth Town Council, the Freke-Norton Trust and public donations.

For more information call Sally Williams on (01793) 763514.