SWIMMING pools across Cornwall are set to benefit from a Government fund designed to help keep public-owned pools open

The government's 'Swimming Pool Support Fund' is a scheme introduced in order to help keep public pools open in the face of rising operating and energy costs. 

According to Sport England, 196 publicly owned leisure facilities with swimming pools in 103 local authorities have been awarded a share of £20.3m to help support them to keep their doors open.

The criteria with which the pools receiving the cash were chosen was, according to Sport England, based on their risk of closure, the proximity to other swimming pools providing public swimming, and the level of demand for the facility.

The Cornwall pools set to receive the cash are as follows:

  • Bodmin Leisure Centre will receive £72,430. 
  • Helston Sports Centre will receive £35,249. 
  • Liskeard Leisure Centre will receive £75,973. 
  • Newquay Leisure World will receive £87,212. 
  • Normandy Swimming Pool in the Isles of Scilly will receive £20,499. 
  • Saltash Leisure Centre will receive £74,659. 
  • St Ives Leisure Centre will receive £103,645. 

In a statement posted on his social media profile, MP for St Ives, West Cornwall, and the Isles of Scilly, Derek Thomas, said: "Cash for our swimming pools announced today!

"Our public swimming pools have taken a real hammering since Covid.

"Covid-related restrictions and sky-high energy bills have threatened the existence of these pools - you may remember the extraordinary effort many of us made to keep St Ives and Helston pools open a couple of years back.

"St Ives, Helston and Normandy Swimming Pool on Scilly, have been successful in their applications for funding as part of the first phase of £60m of Government support.

"I know how many people rely on our pools to learn to swim and work to keep fit. Our children often learn to swim safely in the sea in local pools.

"The cash helps to keep pools open but the best way to keep a pool open is to use it!"

Sports Minister, Stuart Andrew, said the announcement would help the Government achieve its target of helping 3.5 million more people active by 2030.

“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,” he added.

“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.”