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Government minister warned funding needed to help safeguard pools and jobs

Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson has met with a Government minister to stress the urgent need for more financial support to help safeguard facilities and jobs.

She warned Minister for Sport Nigel Huddleston that the injection of cash is needed to ensure hundreds of pools don’t close for good due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic – which could leave swimming teachers and facility staff out of work.

Mr Huddleston was a guest at the All Party Parliamentary Group for Swimming which was also attended by a number of swimming pool operators and Community Leisure UK CEO Mark Tweedie.

Jane said: “While it is great that indoor pools are allowed to welcome people back into the water from Saturday 25 July, we know that many public pools will initially be offering a reduced service as they begin a phased reopening.

“We fear many will close for good and that’s why we’re throwing our weight behind the #SaveLeisure campaign which is fighting for ring-fenced funding for public leisure facilities.

Take our concerns on board

“Pools are incredibly valuable. They give people of all ages the chance to earn a vital life skill, offer those struggling with physical impairments the opportunity to exercise freely and also help save the NHS and social care system millions of pounds every year.

“It is vital this money is made available so our swim schools, our swimming, diving, artistic swimming and water polo clubs plus millions of recreational swimmers can return to the activities they love.

“Not only that, there will be many swim schools, swimming teachers, lifeguards and facility staff worrying about when, or even if, they will have a job to go back to as pools remain closed.

“It was good to have the opportunity to put these points to the Minister, who engaged constructively with the sector.

“Hopefully, he will have taken our concerns on board but we will keep pushing for the support we desperately need to ensure that everyone can get back into the water sooner rather than later.”

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