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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