Hastings leisure centre receives of almost £100K to help keep pool open

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A leisure centre in Hastings has secured a grant of almost £100,000 to help keep its swimming pool open.

Hastings Borough Council said it has successfully secured a Sport England Swimming Pool Support Fund grant of £98,475 to help with current operational costs at Summerfields Leisure Centre.

It has been awarded this funding to help combat the rising costs of utility bills and swimming pool chemicals, the council added.

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More than 100 other local authorities have also received a share of the £20 million fund to keep their swimming pools and leisure centres open in response to increased operating costs.

Summerfields Leisure Centre, HastingsSummerfields Leisure Centre, Hastings
Summerfields Leisure Centre, Hastings

The council said it has also applied for capital funding from Sport England to introduce environmental measures, which include rooftop solar, to combat climate change and reduce ongoing energy costs.

Summerfields Leisure Centre is managed by Freedom Leisure in partnership with Hastings Borough Council.

Cllr Andy Batsford, lead for heath at Hastings Borough Council, said: “We are delighted to have received this funding for Summerfields, with ever-increasing costs we have heard of many pools closing or being at risk of closure. Summerfields’ swimming pool is a much-loved community facility and provides an important place for people in Hastings of all ages to socialise and keep fit. For it to remain open for use is excellent news for our town’s health and wellbeing.”

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Toby Reed, Freedom Leisure area manager, said; “We are pleased that Hastings Borough Council has been successful in securing government funding via the Swimming Pool Support Fund, and we look forward to working with the council to support the swimming facilities in Hastings going forward. As a result of the energy crisis, we as an organisation have seen our energy bills more than double and although this additional funding will help it remains a challenge to maintain swimming pools across the UK and we would encourage as many residents as possible to continue to use and support their local community swimming pools.”

Lisa Dodd-Mayne, Sport England's director of place, 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 local authorities and operators battle the challenge of increased energy and maintenance costs, weakened reserves and difficulties with retaining staff.

“Today’s 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.”