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Boston and East Lindsey councils awarded share of £60m Sport England Swimming Pool Support Fund

Posted on 25 March 2024

Boston Borough Council and East Lindsey District Council has been awarded £911,312 after a successful partnership bid for a share of Sport England's Swimming Pool Support Fund.

The fund was made available to give local authorities financial support to invest in improving the energy efficiency of public facilities with pools in the medium to long term.

This phase sees £40 million of government funding being made available for local authorities. As well as £20m of National Lottery capital funding to complement the government money, bringing the total capital fund to £60m.

The awarded costs will go towards helping support the increased costs of energy for the Meridian Leisure Centre, Jubilee Park, Wragby Pool and Princess Royal Sports Arena.

East Lindsey's Magna Vitae-run Meridian Leisure Centre will benefit from seeing the purchase of PV panels and variable speed fans by securing £591,173, with Jubilee Park securing £57,258 and Wragby Pools securing £59,023 for the purchase of pool covers and PV panels. Boston's Princess Royal Sports Arena, currently run by Lex Leisure successful secured £203,858 to purchase a pool cover and heat recovery to air handling unit.

Councillor Graham Marsh, Deputy Leader at East Lindsey District Council and Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture, said: "I am proud that our council have worked so hard to collaborate this bid and are delighted to announce our success in securing the funding.

"Given the currently soaring energy costs, this financial support will enable us to maintain our excellent service for all leisure centre users.

"Swimming is a crucial life skill for individuals of all ages, promoting both physical and mental health. It remains our priority to facilitate residents in staying active and enjoying our pools."

Cllr Sarah Sharpe, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Boston Borough Council, said: "We're delighted to receive this funding and pleased to have collaborated with our partners on a successful application.

"Since the Covid-19 pandemic and the escalating cost of living, the past few years have posed challenges for all. Our venues, like many others, have experienced financial strains due to these issues.

"This funding helps secure the continuity of our services for the residents and visitors of Boston Borough, fostering increased participation in physical activity and enhancing both physical and mental health and wellbeing. It is crucial that these services remain accessible and affordable."

Just 264 local authorities were successful to receive funding, with East Lindsey and Boston receiving a total of four of them.

And Sport England's Director of Place, Lisa Dodd-Mayne, knows the impact this funding can have on the future of public pools.

"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."

For more information about the Swimming Pool Support Fund, visit the Sport England website.