Wyre Council has successfully secured £142,000 from the government’s Swimming Pool Support Fund.
Administered by Sport England, the fund provides a total of £60 million to local authorities in England as a support package for public leisure facilities with swimming pools. Councils had to bid for a share in the funding and it’s been announced that Wyre Council’s application was successful.
The fund is split into two phases and this money is being awarded from the revenue phase, which supports facilities with swimming pools with increased cost pressures. The money will be used to offset the increase in utility and chemical costs that have occurred over the past two years at Fleetwood, Poulton and Garstang’s swimming pools.
Councillor Lynne Bowen, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Health and Community Engagement at Wyre Council comments,
“We’re fortunate to have three swimming pools in Wyre which play such an important role in the health and wellbeing of our residents and in teaching people to swim.
“Recent times have proved to be a real challenge in particular due to rising costs, and this funding will help us to sustain these important and much loved facilities. We would encourage people to make full use of the pools and support your local leisure centre.”
Sport England's Director of Place, Lisa Dodd-Mayne said,
"We know just how vital swimming pools and leisure centres are to our nation’s activity levels, which is why Sport England is proud to have played a central role in the delivery of this fund.
“This announcement is an important moment in time, but is by no means the end of the work facing us or the support available as we continue to work with our partners to ensure the long-term viability of these vital community resources.”
Sports Minister Stuart Andrew said:
“Leisure centres and pools are vital for millions of people to stay fit and healthy, and we know that many public swimming pools are experiencing greater pressure due to increased operating costs.
“We have heard their concerns and have stepped in to help them make ends meet with £20 million immediate relief, and a further £40 million to help improve sustainability of public swimming pools over the long term. This is part of our support for grassroots sports facilities with more than £400 million in order to achieve our ambitious target of getting 3.5 million more people active by 2030.”
An application has now also been made by the council for the fund’s second phase which provides capital investment to improve the energy efficiency of public swimming pools. A decision is expected by the end of January.