AN ambitious teen has had her dream of becoming a professional mermaid crushed by the impending closure of Bromsgrove's much-loved Dolphin Centre.

Former North Bromsgrove High School student Leia Trigger previously tested out her homemade tail in the leisure centre's swimming pool, until it was taken over by a new operator at the start of this month.

The 18-year-old currently works part-time at Bodycare in Bromsgrove's high street, but hopes to one day make a splash in the children's entertainment industry.

Leia, who now goes by the name 'Mermaid Aries', said: "It is my ambition to become a professional mermaid that attends children’s parties and other events. The only problem is that I have nowhere to swim.

"Until recently I was able to use my mermaid tail at the Bromsgrove Dolphin Centre, but the rules have now changed and this is no longer allowed.

"All of the other Bromsgrove pools I have contacted also won’t allow the use of my tail. They worry I might hit someone with my tail or might get into trouble in the water and drown.

"I do understand their concerns but I don't want to give up on my dream."

Everyone Active took over management of the School Drive centre on September 1, ahead of its demolition later this year.

The Dolphin Centre's official closure on November 1 will mark the opening of Bromsgrove's new £13.7million sports and leisure centre in the same road, which will also be managed by the operator.

Neil Cowdrey, contract manager at Everyone Active, said: “Customer safety is our number one priority and our current company policy prohibits the use of mermaid tails during public swim sessions, due to the risk it poses to other swimmers.

“It can cause injury to other swimmers due to the extended length and movement of the tail, as well as causing an irregular current that can make it difficult for other customers using the pool."

It is unclear whether Leia's 'tail' will have a happy ending, but Everyone Active has pledged to discuss alternative arrangements.