Fylde Council and YMCA Fylde Coast are pleased to announce that an application for funding from the Sport England Swimming Pool Support Fund (SPSF) Phase 1 has been successful.
The Phase 1 Fund is explicitly available only to those swimming facilities who face elevated risk of closure due to increased cost pressures, caused in large part by rising energy prices and the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.
The award of £59,189.00 will be used to offset the September decision to support the St Annes YMCA Pool through an additional subsidy, helping mitigate the pressure of increased running costs for the facility.
This subsidy supports the commitment of both partners to ensuring swimming provision remains available to Fylde residents following the formal closure of the storm-damaged Kirkham Rural Swim facility earlier this year.
The YMCA’s decision not to reopen the Kirkham pool was reluctantly reached when the cost of the immediate and futureproof reparative works proved insurmountably prohibitive. As the major financial barrier for the Kirkham facility was structural repair rather than running costs, it would not have been eligible for the SPSF Phase 1.
Cllr Jayne Nixon, Fylde Council’s Lead Member for Tourism, Leisure & Culture, said: “This funding allocation is a welcome surprise, and a testament to the efforts of both our officers and our partners at the YMCA. Together we remain dedicated to maintaining this facility for the benefit of our shared community.”
“We have also applied for Phase 2 of the support fund, which is ringfenced for capital investment to improve the energy efficiency of the facility in the medium to long term. If successful, this funding will be used to keep St Annes pool running both greener and cheaper for years to come.”
Graham Oatridge, CEO of YMCA Fylde Coast, said: “We are delighted that Sport England have recognised the need to support local swimming provision. The energy crisis has placed huge financial stress on operations, but the successful funding award will help mitigate this in the short term.”
Applications for Phase 2 of the Sport England Swimming Pool Support Fund will be notified of the outcome by the end of January 2024.
For more information about the Sport England Swimming Pool Support Fund, please visit the Sport England website.
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