Cheerleaders in Swindon who had hoped to be practicing their acrobatic stunts and tricks in a new headquarters will have to wait.

And it means others who want to learn the discipline will also be forced to wait.

Swindon Lightning, a cheerleading club catering to youngsters between seven and 17, currently uses a building in Cheney Manor Industrial Estate as its clubhouse and training arena.

But the lease on that building is running out. The club had applied for planning permission to use a building in the Headlands Trading Estate in Upper Stratton for training and practice.

Currently, the building is zoned for warehousing and industrial use, and the club needs permission from council planners to use it for leisure and recreational purposes.

But now the club says a lack of time for the volunteers who run it, and a change in funding means it cannot go ahead.

Head coach Millie Fann said: “As a small not-for-profit organisation we rely on the time and experience of our incredible team of volunteers and coaches, as well as using scheme-appropriate grant funding to ensure that we can keep our costs competitive, and our club accessible to the wider community.

“Due to this change in funding, we are now in a position whereby we are unable to progress with the application and are having to stay in a gym that is not fit for purpose with increasing financial pressures.

“We are battling through uncharted territory to keep our athletes training in a suitable space and our costs low. Our current gym has been incredible to enable us to grow and develop multiple athletes enabling them to compete at an elite team level, however due to space restrictions and accessibility we are now having to run a waiting list for athletes keen to join our club."

Swindon Lightning now has more than 600 athletes training on a weekly basis in both recreational and competitive teams.

Millie added: “Alongside our training we provide the opportunity for young athletes to go on to become junior coaches, equipping them with the skills and experiences to fully understand their abilities, gain confidence and nurture skills.

“A sport such as ours not only equips our young people with a physical skill set, it also allows children to learn lifelong social and emotional skills such as self-belief, determination, resilience, teamwork, peer support, and empowerment in their own choices.”