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Finding Dory themed activities at leisure centres this summer

Helping hand to keep pool afloat

A £94,000 grant has been awarded to Ealing Council, to help with the rising costs of operating the swimming pool at Dormers Wells Sports Centre, ensuring residents can continue to use the pool – whether that’s for swimming lessons or stay fit and healthy.

The council has secured a share of the £60 million of the government’s Swimming Pool Support Fund. The scheme is managed by Sport England and is specifically designed to help councils manage the increased costs of running swimming pools and leisure centres.

The Dormers Wells Sports Centre in Southall welcomes around 250,000 users each year who enjoy the gym, women-only gym, dance studio, sports hall and 20m pool.

As well as the physical and mental health benefits, swimming is a valuable skill and a great way to stay active and make new friends.

Councillor Polly Knewstub, cabinet member for thriving communities, said: “Soaring energy costs have made it increasingly difficult to run the swimming pool at Dormers Wells, and in fact we know that there are swimming pools up and down the country which never really got going again after the pandemic. So we are really pleased to be working with Sport England to secure government funding to support this much-loved and well-used sports centre.

“We are going to be expanding and renewing the sporting and community facilities available to Ealing residents in the coming years, as well as looking after and maintaining those facilities which are already well-used.”

The grant will be used to meet the rise in energy costs, maintenance, heating and pool chemicals so residents can continue to enjoy the pool safely.

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.”

Nearly 200 leisure centres and swimming pools in over 100 local authorities in England will be supported by the Swimming Pool Support Fund, helping to keep them open.

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