Laura Sharman 27 July 2020

A third of council-owned pools will stay closed this year

A third of council-owned pools will stay closed this year image

Nearly a third of council-owned swimming pools could remain closed until next year, new research has revealed.

Swim England has warned swimming could become leisure’s ‘forgotten activity’ after finding 30% of public pools are likely to stay closed for another six months due to the cost of reopening facilities.

It said that only a fifth of local authority-owned facilities welcomed swimmers back to indoor pools on reopening day this weekend.

Jane Nickerson, chief executive of Swim England, said: ‘We face the real risk of swimming becoming a forgotten activity for so many people if public leisure centres open their gyms first and leave pools closed until next year.

‘Before the lockdown, 4.7 million people a month were swimming regularly. It is such a unique activity in that it offers huge physical and mental health benefits – and helps save the NHS and social care system more than £357m a year.’

Swim England is calling on the Government to provide financial support to the sector, arguing the savings to the NHS would more than recover the initial outlay.

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A commitment to civil debate

Cllr Arooj Shah has been the target of recent threats and harassment. Leaders from all parties in Oldham have now come together to add their signature to a ‘politics, not personalities’ pledge, she explains.
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