Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Pooled resources: Government announces funding to support leisure centres in Lincolnshire

Sleaford, North Hykeham, Barton, and Spalding are amongst 200 places to be offered a share in £20m to keep swimming pools afloat in response to increased operating costs.

The Swimming Pool Support Fund was announced at the March Budget to support facilities with swimming pools. This first £20 million of funding is going to the swimming pools and leisure centres most at risk of closure or significant service reduction, and will be used to help with the recent rise in energy costs, such as paying towards immediate maintenance costs, heating and pool chemicals.

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.

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.”

Five-time Olympic Swimmer Mark Foster said: “Swimming pools are at the heart of communities, and there are so many reasons why this funding to keep almost 200 open in England is so important.

“From babies and children learning to swim, to older adults using their local pool to get active and socialise, swimming has a huge range of benefits and I am a passionate advocate for investment in the grass roots.”

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