It has been announced that John Warner Sports Centre has received almost £190,000 from the Government’s Swimming Pool Support Fund.
The centre is one of 196 leisure centres and swimming pools across the country to receive funding in the first round.
Operating costs including heating, maintenance and rising energy prices alongside general inflationary pressure have increased considerably over recent months. This fund will support the continued operation of the swimming pool at John Warner Sports Centre for the community.
Leader of Broxbourne Borough Council, Councillor Lewis Cocking said:
In recent years, the rising cost of utilities have presented many challenges, specifically for the day-to-day running of our swimming pools. At the John Warner Sports Centre alone, since 2019/20 costs have increased by 375% for gas and 221% for electricity, putting at risk the financial viability of this service.
I am therefore thrilled that the Council has been awarded this funding which will help ease the current pressures associated with rising energy costs for what is a highly valued centre that plays a vital role in supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of many of our residents.
To mark the announcement, Minister for Sport, Stuart Andrew, and Olympic swimmer Mark Foster visited John Warner Sports Centre to see first hand how the fund will be used, with the opportunity to view an Active Herts swimming class, a programme which launched in 2016 and has supported more than 2,500 residents in leading a more active lifestyle.
Sports Minister Stuart Andrew said:
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.
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.
Swimming is a valuable life skill for people of all ages, important for safety and both physical and mental health. Swim England’s latest Value of Swimming report showed how swimming helps generate social benefits, such as improved communities, skills and education worth £2.4 billion a year.
The 196 facilities were chosen based on their risk of closure, the proximity to other swimming pools providing public swimming, and the level of demand for the facility.