Babergh District Council receives over £100,000 grant to offset increased costs at Hadleigh Pool and Leisure
A council has been awarded over £100,000 to help offset increased expenses at a leisure facility due to the cost of living crisis.
Babergh District Council were gifted the sum after a successful bid for a Sport England Phase 1 Swimming Pool Grant in relation to Hadleigh Pool and Leisure.
The venue, owned by the council and operated by not-for-profit Abbeycroft Leisure, will be able to use the money to combat its significantly increased energy costs.
However, a bid by the council to help Kingfisher Leisure Centre, in Sudbury, was unsuccessful.
Warren Smyth, Chief Executive of Abbeycroft Leisure said: "Soaring energy costs, the impact of Covid and cost of living pressures are putting swimming pools across the country under huge pressure.
“We have received excellent support from Babergh District Council, but this is a much wider issue and we are very pleased to have received this national award."
Similar bids were made by Mid Suffolk District Council for leisure centres in Stowmarket and Stradbroke, however these were also both rejected.
In total, the funding amounts to £115,620.
Cllr Deborah Saw, Babergh District Council cabinet member for people and place said: “The health and wellbeing of our communities is a priority for our council and we are working hard, in partnership with providers, to keep facilities open despite severe pressure on our budget.
“We obviously welcome this funding – and hope for further support in the second round for all our pools and leisure centres facing the same challenge, both here in Babergh and in neighbouring Mid Suffolk.”
Swimming pools are highly dependent on energy use, maintaining ambient temperature and heating pool water to the right temperature for leisure use, meaning inflation and soaring bills have put leisure provides under increasing pressure.
Sport England's Director of Place, Lisa Dodd-Mayne said: "We know just how vital swimming pools and leisure centres are to our nation’s activity levels, which is why Sport England is proud to have played a central role in the delivery of this fund.
“Many pools have faced a real and significant threat to their survival this year, as local authorities and operators battle the challenge of increased energy and maintenance costs, weakened reserves and difficulties with retaining staff.
“We continue to work with our partners to ensure the long-term viability of these vital community resources.”