The Minister for Sport, Nigel Huddleston, has acknowledged the real problem of too many swimming pools being unable to open.
In correspondence with Swim England, he revealed that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is “working closely with the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and HM Treasury on a way to help the sector to return to as full a service as can be delivered… as soon as possible.”
As part of the #SaveLeisure campaign, Swim England, alongside organisations such as Community Leisure UK and UK Active, has been at the forefront of the calls for financial support for the sector.
Pools and facilities need urgent help from the Government with many either unable to open their doors due to financial reasons or unsure how long they can remain open without support.
Latest figures from the recognised national governing body revealed that almost a quarter of public pools are still not open.
Many of those that are open are running reduced pool programmes, leaving too many people still shut out of the activities and sports they love.
Swim England Chief Executive Jane Nickerson said: “We’ve been consistently pushing for much needed support for our pools, lobbying various government departments and the Prime Minister himself.
“It is really encouraging to hear the Minister for Sport confirm that work is ongoing within the Government to support our vitally important leisure facilities as soon as possible.
“We will continue to keep up the pressure because it is so important.
“Important not only for the hundreds of thousands of swimmers, divers, water polo players and artistic swimmers, but for all our local communities who benefit from having a public pool in their area.
“Swimming saves our NHS and social care system hundreds of millions of pounds each year and helps support and improve the physical and mental wellbeing of the nation.
“That’s why we won’t rest until the funding is secured and will be working to ensure ‘as soon as possible’ really is that.”