Thanet District Council has been awarded £380,561 of funding through the government’s Swimming Pool Support Fund.
Hartsdown Sports and Leisure Centre receives £162,566, with £217,995 going to Ramsgate Leisure Centre. The funding will be used to help support maintenance costs, heating and pool chemicals.
Over 100 local authorities have been awarded a share of £20 million of funding from the Department of Culture, Media and Sports. The funding is intended to help them to keep their swimming pools and leisure centres open, in response to increased operating costs.
The Swimming Pool Support Fund is supporting nearly 200 leisure centres, to assist with increased operating costs and to improve sustainability. It supports the government’s ambition to get 3.5 million more people active by 2030.
Cllr Ruth Duckworth, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Property at Thanet District Council, said: “Swimming is a valuable life skill for people of all ages. It is important for personal safety, and this is especially true for us in our coastal location. As a dedicated sea swimmer, I know just how positive swimming is for our physical and mental health and our wellbeing. Swimming pools offer a fantastic opportunity for everyone to benefit, all year round.”
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.
“Many pools have faced a real and significant threat to their survival this year, as local authorities and operators battle the challenge of increased energy and maintenance costs, weakened reserves and difficulties with retaining staff.
“Today’s 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.”
Thanet District Council has also submitted a bid for the next phase of funding to improve the energy efficiency of both leisure centres. This supports the council’s ambition to reach net zero on council-owned properties by 2030.
You can find out more about the Swimming Pool Support Fund on the government website.