In September 2021 Swim England published a report ‘A Decade of Decline: The Future of Swimming Pools in England’ which warned that, without major investment, up to 2000 swimming pools could be closed in the next 10 years.
The full Swim England report and recommendations can be found here
ALDC have produced a template Council Motion below that can be used in your Local Authority to call for the actions Swim England recommends. Namely to carry out a full assessment of swimming pools in the area and lobby Government to make the full funding available to protect them long-term.
Though Swim England‘s report specifically focuses on pools in England this campaign is completely applicable to Scotland and Wales too.
Please note Swim England’s campaign focuses on the thousands of pools that were built several decades ago and are coming to the end of their lifespan. You should research whether any pools in your area fall into that category, and also whether your Council already has plans to refurbish it’s pools, before running this campaign.
Council Motion – The Future of Swimming in [AREA NAME]
Council recognises the vital role swimming pools play in our local community. Swimming pools are community hubs where people of all ages come together to for fun, fitness and sport.
It is estimated that the enormous benefits swimming brings to people’s physical and mental health saves NHS and Social Care services more than £357 million each year across the UK.
Council reaffirms its commitment to providing top class swimming facilities in [AREA NAME].
Council notes with concern the report published by Swim England in September 2021 – A Decade in Decline: The Future of Swimming Pools in England – which warns that, without proper investment and refurbishment, up to 2000 swimming pools could be lost across the UK over the next decade.
Many swimming pools in [AREA NAME] are coming towards the end of their lifespan having been built over [XX] years ago. PLEASE USE LOCAL INFORMATION IN THIS PARAGRAPH TO MAKE CLEAR THE LOCAL SITUATION IN YOUR COUNCIL AREA – HOW MANY POOLS ARE OUT OF DATE / WHAT LEVEL OF INVESTMENT IS NEEDED / IS THERE AN UNDER PROVISION OF SWIMMING POOLS TO BEGIN WITH?
Council also notes that Leisure centres can account for as much as 40 per cent of a council’s direct carbon emissions. New or refurbished pools are much more sustainable (both economically and environmentally) and can play a key part in meeting our climate change ambitions.
Council resolves to adopt the recommendations contained in Swim England’s ‘Future of Swimming Pools in England’ report to:
- Undertake a Strategic Needs Assessment to identify the investment needed to improve existing swimming pools in [AREA NAME], and to build new pools to address any future shortfall in the provision of local swimming facilities.
- Bid for full Government funding for the refurbishment works that are identified (and for new pools if required).
Council further instructs the Chief Executive to write to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to demand that the full £1 billion of grant funding recommended in Swim England’s report is made available to local authorities to refurbish and expand their swimming pool provision. As part of this funding grants should also be made available to support local authorities to undertake full strategic needs assessments of their local swimming provision.