Swim England and operators call for urgent meeting to address uncertain future fears
Posted: Wed, 10 Jun 2020 09:17
Swim England and facility operators have written a joint letter to Government ministers pleading for an urgent meeting to address the uncertain future facing swimming pools.
The recognised national governing body for aquatics has sent the letter to Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
It has been signed by Swim England Chief Executive Jane Nickerson and 12 key stakeholders who own or operate more than 750 of the 1,858 pools in England that belong to local authorities, community organisations, sports clubs or commercial enterprises.
There are fears hundreds of pools won't reopen following the closures due to financial worries and the cost of bringing the pool out of lockdown.
In the letter, Jane writes: "Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government has rightly championed the importance of physical activity – this is a sentiment we wholeheartedly support.
"Additionally, schemes like the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme have been welcomed, and extensively utilised, by the sector.
"Many operators are having to adjust to losing 100% of their income as a result of the closure of swimming pools and are now at crisis point as a result of this loss of income and limited cash reserves.
"In addition, many swimming pool operators still have high costs, particularly fixed costs. For instance the average monthly leisure utility and energy bill is £44,000.