25 March, 2024

Government funding makes a splash at Ramsgate Leisure Centre

Thanet District Council has been awarded £674,740 of funding in phase two of the government’s Swimming Pool Support Fund. This second phase of funding will be used to improve the energy efficiency of public facilities with swimming pools. It follows earlier funding of £380k in phase one, bringing financial support for pools in Thanet to just over £1 million.

The new funding will be used to install solar panels on the roof of Ramsgate Leisure Centre, to provide cleaner energy for the building. The solar panels have a lifespan of over 25 years, providing a reliable source of energy over that time. Their installation will also result in a significant reduction in CO2 emissions each year. 

Variable speed filter pumps which control the flow of water, will also be installed. The pumps will help to reduce the amount of electricity used and improve the energy efficiency of the swimming pool overall. 

The project will be completed by 31 March 2025.

Together, the rooftop solar panels and variable speed filtration system will reduce the annual electricity bill at Ramsgate Leisure Centre by more than half. This is a significant step towards the council’s goal of achieving net zero on council-owned properties by 2030. 

Bob Porter, Director of Place at Thanet District Council, said: “Swimming pools provide a year-round facility for residents and visitors. This funding will enable us to continue providing these important leisure spaces for the community, while reducing their impact on the environment through the use of greener energy. Addressing the greenhouse gas emissions from buildings that the council owns is the top priority in our Net Zero strategy.”

Warren Reeves, Managing Director, Your Leisure, said: “We warmly welcome this support, as a leisure trust with charitable objectives that invests in services for the improvement and wellbeing of our community. It follows a testing time for the industry, which in some areas is still recovering from the effects of the Covid pandemic and national lockdowns. 

“Investing in greener energy will significantly contribute to the district’s Net Zero Strategy. It will help us to minimise future price changes to offset increased energy costs. Any initiative that contributes to reducing the carbon footprint of our operations and reduces energy costs to allow for investment, is most welcome.”

Lisa Dodd-Mayne, Executive Director – Place at Sport England, 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 this 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, said: “Millions of people swim every year in England, but high 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 lengths, to swim with friends, or a water aerobics class. 

“This further £60 million of support from the Government and Sport England will make hundreds of swimming pools more energy efficient so they can keep offering their vital community and health benefits for generations to come.” 

This phase two funding follows the £380,561 of phase 1 funding which was announced in November 2023. Hartsdown Sports and Leisure Centre received £162,566, while Ramsgate Leisure Centre was allocated £217,995. The funding helped to support maintenance costs, heating and pool chemicals.

You can find out more about the Swimming Pool Support Fund on the government website

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