Further funding secured from Sport England's Swimming Pool Support Fund for Dearneside Leisure Centre

We have been successful in a joint bid with Barnsley Premier Leisure (BPL) for £201,000 for Dearneside Leisure Centre from phase two of Sport England's Swimming Pool Support Fund. 

The government's Spring Budget in 2023 announced the creation of a £63m national fund to help providers with the increased costs. Local authorities were invited to apply for the funding on behalf of the eligible pools in their area.

The first £20 million of funding in phase one was earmarked for the swimming pools and leisure centres most at risk of closure or significant service reduction. We received £400,000, the highest total in the country, to support the Metrodome with rising costs of running its swimming pools.

A further £40m was available in phase two and the money we have received will help improve the energy efficiency of the facilities at Dearneside Leisure Centre.

Kathy McArdle, Service Director for Regeneration and Culture, said: "We're pleased to have secured a further £201,000 from the Swimming Pool Support Fund with BPL which we will invest in Dearneside Leisure Centre.

"We know that leisure centres are crucial in offering a safe space for residents to be physically active and improve their mental and physical health and wellbeing, and it is of the utmost importance that they are kept open for our communities.” 

Michael Hirst, CEO of BPL, added: "The previous two years have brought significant increases to the utility costs in operating our leisure venues, and this funding will help us to continue to reduce our power consumption and carbon output at Your Space Dearneside, which is definitely something to feel good about." 

Sport England's Director of Place, Lisa Dodd-Mayne, said:  “Swimming pools and leisure centres are vital community resources and are enormously important in helping people to be physically active.

“Many pools have faced a real and significant threat to their survival this year, as local authorities and operators have battled the challenge of increased energy and wider costs, weakened reserves and difficulties with retaining staff.

“Sport England is proud of the role we’ve played in supporting these facilities through this difficult period.

“We hope today’s funding announcement will enable more public pools to improve their energy efficiency to be more environmentally and financially sustainable, so they remain available for future generations to enjoy.”

Sports Minister Stuart Andrew added: “Millions of people swim every year in England, but increased energy costs mean some pools are struggling financially.

“I know from personal experience the health benefits of getting down to your local pool, whether that’s just for a few laps, to swim with friends, or a water aerobics class.

“This further £60m of support [in Phase II] from the Government and Sport England will make hundreds of swimming pools more energy efficient, so they can continue to provide the facilities local communities need.”

For more information about the Swimming Pool Support Fund, visit the Sport England website.

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