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Funding pulled for Swimming Pool Capital Project

July 9 2010

The ASA has expressed its disappointment after learning £25m of funding which was due to rejuvenate the nation’s swimming pools has been axed as part of government cuts – but has acknowledged the move was not unexpected.

The money – due to be allocated by Sport England on behalf of government departments DCMS and DfE – was going to be made available to modernise council and education pools.

44 projects in total have been affected and they are being informed that their applications will now not go forward.

David Sparkes, the ASA Chief Executive, said: “Given that the participation part of the Free Swimming programme has already been axed, and the amount of cuts being made across Government departments, this was not surprising news.

“However, this will prevent pools from being refurbished or replaced and further hinder our work to increase participation, especially as our research shows that an ‘unpleasant environment’ is a major barrier to swimming, especially for women.”

In the research, issues around cleanliness and maintenance were cited as reasons people did not want to go swimming, especially at old pools with cracked tiles, broken lockers and crumbling fabric.

Mr Sparkes added: “The way forward now is to see how the modernisation of pools can be continued with no commitment to government funding. This will be a challenge but we will continue to work with pool operators and Local Authorities on the best way to do this.”

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