Bridlington Leisure Centre receives £200,000 from Government to keep afloat as operating costs rise
This lump sum is part of the £20 million that the government has allocated to help swimming pools and leisure centres most at risk of closure or significant service reduction. This money will help with the recent rise in energy costs, such as paying towards immediate maintenance costs, heating and pool chemicals.
The Swimming Pool Support Fund was announced at the March Budget and 196 leisure centres and swimming pools in 103 local authorities will benefit from this funding.
These 196 facilities were chosen based on their risk of closure, the proximity to other swimming pools providing public swimming, and the level of demand for the facility.
Operating costs including but not limited to heating, alongside general inflationary pressure has increased considerably over recent months, with local authorities facing greater challenges to make ends meet as a result.
Stuart Andrew, Sports Minister, 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.”
Over the coming months the recipients of a further £40 million will be announced. This part of the fund will be made available for investment in making the pools and leisure centres more energy efficient, including funding new heating systems and energy saving interventions. This is intended to help the long term energy and financial resilience of the sector.