A swimming pool in Barrow has received £235,000 in government funding to help with running costs.
Barrow Forward Leisure Centre has been awarded grant funding of £235,476 from the Swimming Pool Support Fund, a pot of cash that was announced at the March Budget to support facilities with swimming pools across the UK.
This first wave 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 such as 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.
‘’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.’’
Executive Director for Place, Sport England, 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 operators battle the challenge of increased energy and maintenance costs, weakened reserves and difficulties with retaining staff.
‘’This 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.’’