£220,000 awarded to improve St Annes YMCA Pool

Fylde Council’s application for the Sport England Swimming Pool Support Fund (SPSF) Phase 2 has been successful for St Annes YMCA Pool.

The funding allocation of £220,000 will allow for the implementation of photovoltaic (PV) panels and the replacement of aging gas boilers with newer more efficient models, helping to reduce energy consumption levels and lower the cost of running the facility. A condition for accepting the grant from Sport England is an assurance that the pool will remain open for the next 10 years as a minimum.

The Phase 2 fund is solely for capital investment to improve the energy efficiency of facilities in the medium to long term and follows a successful Phase 1 fund allocation of £59,189 last November used to mitigate the pressure of increased running costs. The St Annes YMCA Pool, which is owned by Fylde Council and operated by the YMCA, was eligible for both phases of funding.

Cllr Karen Buckley, Leader of Fylde Council, said: “We are delighted to have been successful in our applications for both phases of the Swimming Pool Support Fund. The award of nearly £60,000 last November was much needed to mitigate increased energy costs.

‘’The capital award of £220,000 will address capital expenditure and forms part of our plan to ensure the long-term future of St Annes Pool remains secure. It is a well-used facility and is under increased demand from residents and school children across Fylde whilst the future of provision in and around Kirkham is under consideration.

“The physical and mental health benefits of swimming are well established which is why we are seeking all opportunities for funding to maintain St Annes Pool as well as consulting with the rural community on their needs following the decision by the YMCA to close Kirkham Rural Splash.”

Cllr Jayne Nixon, Fylde Council’s Lead Member for Tourism, Leisure & Culture, said: “Leisure provision remains one of our major priorities. In partnership with Active Lancashire, we recently concluded a community-wide consultation inviting those living and working within Fylde to feedback on sports and leisure provision in the borough, particularly swimming opportunities.

‘’We eagerly anticipate the findings from Active Lancashire which also includes further focused consultations with swimming providers, schools and residents to establish the need for community swimming facilities.

“The valuable opinions we receive will be used to further inform our strategies for development in rural Fylde and Lytham St Annes, which we are proud to support.”

Over 500 capital interventions in over 300 facilities with swimming pools have been awarded funding from the Government and Sport England’s £60m capital investment programme. The interventions include photo-voltaic cells, LED lights and pool covers as well as variety of other capital improvements aimed at improving the energy efficiency of public facilities with pools in the medium to long term.

264 local authorities have received a share of the funding, of which £20m has been provided by Sport England via the National Lottery and just over £40m has been provided by the Government as part of their commitment to support the long-term sustainability of public leisure.

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