A NEW FUND will help swimming facilities become more environmentally sustainable.

Swim England has welcomed a £63 million Government investment to help keep ‘vulnerable’ swimming pools afloat and become more energy efficient as they battle with increased costs. A total of £40 million will help pools cut carbon emissions for the long-term, with more than £20 million available to tackle rising utility bills.

Swim England and a coalition of other organisations had been campaigning for several months for increased financial support to help leisure facilities cope with unprecedented financial challenges caused by the energy crisis. Since October last year, around 350 facilities had already been hit by service reductions, temporary and permanent closures.

The new fund will be managed by Sport England and local authorities will be able to apply for cash for those leisure centres with pools that face immediate pressures, including operational and maintenance costs, and energy bills. Pools run on behalf of councils by private companies and charities are also eligible for support.

Jane Nickerson, Swim England chief executive, said the fund would help facilities become more environmentally sustainable. She added: “We welcome this intervention, which is an important recognition of the incredibly challenging situation currently facing swimming pools and their value to local communities. “The financial support announced will undoubtedly make a difference for a number of vulnerable pools as they battle with increased energy costs.