Sport, parks and leisure - Nearly a quarter of public pools are still closed, says Swim England...
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24 Aug 2020

Nearly a quarter of public pools are still closed, says Swim England
BY Tom Walker

Out of the 1,002 publicly accessible pools, 223 remain closed

Out of the 1,002 publicly accessible pools, 223 remain closed
photo: Shutterstock.com/canbedone

Almost a quarter of public swimming pools across the country remain closed – nearly a month after they were given the green light to reopen.

Research from Swim England shows that while 767 of the 1,002 publicly accessible pools have reopened in some form – or have published an imminent reopening date – 223 remain closed indefinitely.

The majority of those (193) still have no confirmed date for a reopening, while 15 have already been mothballed or confirmed as permanently closed. A further 25 are shut for maintenance.

Following the publication of the figures, Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson called on the government to provide more financial support to help struggling facilities reopen – and ensure no more pools are lost.

“It’s extremely disappointing to see so many public swimming pools remain closed with no confirmed date for reopening," Nickerson said.

“These are facilities are vital for so many reasons and should not be left to go to ruin.

“In addition, those that are open are trying to survive with considerably less footfall and we understand many do not know how long they can remain open without support.

“We’ve been working hard to gather the most up-to-date picture from right across the country, so we can continue to make the strongest case for all our sports.

"The Value of Swimming research proves that pools are valuable for the user who is healthier and happier, who feels more confident and more connected to their local community.

"Swimming is also valuable to society, saving the public purse at least £357m per year, and improving community cohesion."

Earlier this year, a survey conducted by Leisure-net Solutions in partnership with 4global via the DataHub revealed that almost 60 per cent of UK parents planned to resume their children’s swimming lessons.

Pools in England were closed on Friday 20 March as part of the coronavirus lockdown – and operators had to wait 128 days until Saturday 25 July before they could allow customers in again.



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