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Sheffield leisure facilities set for energy efficiency boost

Stocksbridge Leisure Centre staff
Stocksbridge Leisure Centre staff

Local leisure facilities are set to become more energy efficient, with Government funding secured to help them reduce energy consumption and carbon output.

Sheffield City Council has been successful in obtaining more than £300,000 to support King Edwards Swimming Pool, Stocksbridge Community Leisure Centre and Zest. The money will be used to install capital inventions, which will improve energy efficiencies.

Councillor Kurtis Crossland, Chair of the Communities, Parks and Leisure Committee at Sheffield City Council, said:

“I am delighted we have been successful in securing this funding, which will be of great benefit to these local facilities and the communities that use them.

“Swimming is a valuable life skill for people of all ages, which make facilities like this one essential for our local community. They also help to keep people fit and healthy, and that is why I’m so glad to see this of additional funding.

“Not only will this money help to keep costs down in these facilities, but it will also support our ambition to transition to a greener Sheffield.”

Matt Dean, CEO of Zest in Upperthorpe added:

“The Sport England funding will support installation of solar panels which will reduce our carbon footprint and save on our energy bills.  This is a really welcome boost for our much-loved community swimming pool.”

Nationally, over 500 capital interventions in over 300 facilities with swimming pools have been awarded funding from the Government and Sport England’s £60m capital investment programme.

The interventions include everything from LED lights to pool covers, as well as a variety of other measures aimed at improving the energy efficiency of public facilities with pools in the medium to long-term. 

Peter Kay, King Edward's Swimming Pool Trustee, said:

"It has been a very challenging few years for all swimming pools and the Sport England capital grant for solar panels and a pool cover should prove extremely helpful in significantly reducing energy costs at our pool.

“Trustees and staff continue to work hard to ensure a sustainable future for the pool, which has been in the hands of a non-profit community trust for more than 30 years.

“The Trust is grateful to the Council for its invaluable help in securing the grant and, in general, its support over the years."

264 local authorities have received a share of the funding, of which £20m has been provided by Sport England via the National Lottery and just over £40m has been provided by the Government as part of their commitment to support the long-term sustainability of public leisure.

Stuart Andrew MP, Under-Secretary of State for Sport, Tourism, Heritage and Civil Society, said:

“Millions of people swim every year in England, but high energy costs mean some pools are struggling financially.

“I know from personal experience the health benefits of getting down to your local pool, whether that’s just for a few lengths, to swim with friends, or a water aerobics class.

“This further £60 million of support from the Government and Sport England will make hundreds of swimming pools more energy efficient so they can keep offering their vital community and health benefits for generations to come.”

Sheffield City Council have shown their commitment to improving leisure facilities across the city and last year announced more than £100 million in investment over the next 10-years in leisure and entertainment venues, including some if the city’s most popular leisure centres.

Investment will include carrying out maintenance across all sport and leisure facilities and additional investment in Hillsborough Leisure Centre, Concord Sport Centre and Springs Leisure Centre.

The Council’s Sport and Leisure Strategy, launched last year, also highlights their ambition to have facilities, activities and services, which are modern, welcoming, inclusive and meet the needs of everybody in Sheffield.

Some of the commitments outlined in the strategy include:

  • Investing in swimming in Sheffield and working proactively with partners to improve swimming attainment.
  • Investing in our leisure facilities to ensure they are welcoming, attractive and inclusive, whilst taking positive climate action and ensuring co-located health and community services which provide a one-stop-shop for wellbeing.
  • Creating and sustaining safe, attractive and better connected indoor and outdoor environments and supporting active travel.

You can read more about Sheffield’s Sport and Leisure Strategy here.