Laura Sharman 27 January 2020

Councils call for £500m to upgrade outdated leisure centres

A quarter of all council-run leisure centres have not been refurbished in more than 20 years, new figures have revealed.

The Local Government Association (LGA) is calling for a £500m funding pot to help councils upgrade and redesign ‘outdated’ sports halls and swimming pools.

The figures show that nearly two thirds of leisure centres (63%) were built more than 10 years ago.

The LGA said that as well as improving physical and mental wellbeing, updates to facilities would also help to meet the latest energy efficiency and environmental standards.

Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, chair of the LGA’s Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said: ‘Underinvestment has meant that many councils have not been able to provide the necessary refurbishments to some outdated sports facilities.

‘Where refurbishments have been possible, they have been shown to save an average of £500,000 a year, so investment pays for itself, as well as improving the health and wellbeing of residents and helping meet our climate targets.’

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