More than 1,000 publicly accessible pools have closed since 2010, England’s governing body for swimming has found.
Swim England also said a further 1,500 pools are more than 40 years old and coming towards the end of life.
Financial pressures on local councils, increased costs and ageing pools mean many facilities have an uncertain future, warns the organisation’s report, Value of Swimming.
The most deprived areas of the country have lost 169 pools since 2010, while the richest have seen 49 shut.
Swim England’s research estimates that aquatic activity generates £2.4bn of social value and recommends greater integration between the health and leisure sectors.
Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson said: ‘With the right leadership, partnerships, coordination and investment our nation’s pools can deliver significantly more social, economic and environmental benefits for the whole of society, supporting the long-term health and success of the nation.
‘Of course, that requires investment in building the greener pools of the future and decarbonising existing pools, but it is about more than that.
‘There needs to be a shared vision across all levels of government as to the purpose of our swimming pools and leisure centres which is reflected in pool contracts, one which recognises their immense value to communities and widens access to the water.’