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Making a splash: pools successful in funding

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Two Stroud district swimming pools have been successful in securing funding which will improve their facilities.

Government Swimming Pool Support Fund investment in The Pulse leisure centre in Dursley and Wotton Pool will help improve the energy efficiency of their pools and leisure centres.

The latest round of funding is intended to help the longer-term energy and financial resilience of the sector.

The Pulse, run by Stroud District Council, has received almost £300,000 to fund the refurbishment of its entrance area and a new air-handling unit.

Wotton Pool, run largely by volunteers, has secured £6,000 for new pool covers.

Successful applicants have been funded to make renovations to facilities which are expected to reduce their energy consumption, and in their applications they outlined why the interventions were appropriate and deliverable. Other criteria for selection included an assessment of the expected energy saving, distances from other pools, and the strategic importance of each site at a local level.

Last Autumn The Pulse secured £165,000, and Wotton Pool £11,000 from an earlier round of Swimming Pool Support Fund for heating, maintenance and chemicals.

“We welcome this award, which on top of the funding that the two pools received last year, will ensure that thousands of swimmers can continue to enjoy the benefits that swimming brings for physical and mental health,” said SDC Director of Communities, Keith Gerrard.

The Pulse’s pool is open seven days a week and there are many extra activities lined up for the Easter holiday period. Find out more: www.pulsedursley.co.uk/pool/

Wotton Swimming Pool is owned by Wotton Town Council and run by a community interest company. The Symn Lane pool is due to open next month – for more details visit www.wottonpool.co.uk

In total, 442 swimming pools in 367 local authorities will have benefited from a share of £80 million funding since the fund was announced in last year’s budget. The first £20 million of funding from Phase I the Swimming Pool Support Fund went to swimming pools and leisure centres most at risk of closure or significant service reduction in November, with 196 facilities benefitting.

Sport England Executive Director for 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.”

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