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Thousands in funding for two pools in the South Hams

Issued: 01 May 2024

Dartmouth Open Air Pool and Quayside Leisure Centre in Kingsbridge have received tens of thousands of pounds from the Swimming Pool Support Fund.

Quayside Leisure Centre has received £77,000 to go towards variable speed pumps and to upgrade the building management system, while Dartmouth Open Air Pool has received £48,000 for photo voltaic solar panels and pool covers.

325 swimming pools and leisure centres across England have received money from the £60.5million Phase II of the fund to help ensure their long-term sustainability by improving their energy efficiency.

The works at Dartmouth and Quayside will make them more resilient for the years ahead, ensuring these important community pools continue to improve community wellbeing and serve the people of the South Hams for years to come.

Cllr Victor Abbott, South Hams Executive Member for Community Services and Operations, said: “It’s brilliant that the District Council and its officers have secured funding for both Dartmouth and Quayside pools. They are both tremendous assets to their communities and this money will help ensure they continue to serve the people of the South Hams.

“Rising energy costs have hit us all, but leisure centres have felt these increases harder than most in recent years. It’s good to see this funding supporting centres across the country, as these facilities are hugely important to their communities.”

Jo Squires, Treasurer and Pool Manager of Dartmouth Open Air Pool, said: “We are very grateful to have been awarded £48,000 from the SPRS, as once the solar and cover are installed and all in working order, it will help to reduce our astronomic electricity bill, which was £33,000 for just the four months we are open.

“Without this money we would have to remain closed until the electricity prices came back down again. We are slowly modernizing our community pool, which has been there for 37 years. If it had to close it would be a loss to the locals who love it, as it provides a completely different swimming experience to the indoor pool.”

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.”

Over 500 capital interventions in over 300 facilities with swimming pools have been awarded funding from the Government and Sport England’s £60m capital investment programme. The interventions include photo-voltaic cells, LED lights and pool covers as well as variety of other capital improvements aimed at improving the energy efficiency of public facilities with pools in the medium to long term.

264 local authorities have received a share of the funding, of which £20m has been provided by Sport England via the National Lottery and just over £40m has been provided by the Government as part of their commitment to support the long-term sustainability of public leisure.

Posted in SHDC.