Funding boost for local swimming pools

A GRANT worth £128,354 has been awarded to Rother District Council to support two pools in the district.

Bexhill Leisure Pool and the swimming pool at Rye Sports Centre will each receive grants of over £64,000 to help ensure the continued provision of opportunities for residents to swim and take part in water activities locally.

The funding, which will contribute to the pools’ utility costs, has been awarded after the council successfully applied to phase one of the government’s Swimming Pool Support Fund, administered by Sport England.

The fund was launched to support public leisure facilities with swimming pools which have been adversely affected by rising costs, leaving them vulnerable to closure or significant service reduction.

Both swimming pools, which are run by Freedom Leisure on behalf of the district council, are used by many residents to keep themselves fit and healthy, and by local schools for swimming and water skills lessons.

Cllr Hazel Timpe, Cabinet Member for sports and leisure at Rother District Council, said: “We are grateful to Sport England for this funding.

“Swimming has proved to be beneficial for both physical and mental health, and can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities, from young babies and toddlers to the elderly.

“The council is committed to promoting and encouraging physical activity across Rother. Enabling and supporting both indoor and outdoor opportunities for residents to be active is a key aim of the council’s recent Health and Well-being: Leisure Facilities Strategy.”

The council and Freedom Leisure have recently announced the reopening of Rye swimming pool after soaring energy costs forced its temporary closure in 2022.

Cllr Timpe continued: “This funding is extremely welcome and will help us sustain Rye pool for the short term, but it unfortunately won’t go very far.

“Whilst the council is not in a position to contribute to the on-going running costs of the pools, we are continuing to work on finding a longer-term sustainable future for swimming in the district.”

For up to date information about Bexhill Leisure Pool or the pool at Rye Sports Centre visit www.freedom-leisure.co.uk.

Published: 7th November 2023

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