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Successful bid for funding will help Chichester swimming pool become more energy efficient

A bid for government funding to help projects aimed at improving the energy efficiency of the swimming pool at Chichester's Westgate Leisure Centre has been successful.

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Chichester District Council submitted the funding bid to Sport England last October. The bids needed to be for projects that would improve energy efficient in public facilities with swimming pools. This year the council received the news that it had been awarded just over £57,000 through the Swimming Pool Support Fund.

The Council will now work with the leisure operator, Everyone Active, which manages Westgate Leisure Centre, The Bourne in Southbourne, and The Grange Community and Leisure Centre in Midhurst on the council's behalf to deliver the project.

The money will be used to cover the cost of installing a pool cover and shower flow restrictors. It is estimated that using a pool cover overnight and while the pool is not being used will reduce the centre's electricity usage by 5% while the shower flow restrictors will reduce water consumption by 3%.

"We're delighted that our bid to the Swimming Pool Support Fund has been successful, and we're pleased to work with our leisure management contractor Everyone Active to deliver this project," says Councillor Jess Brown-Fuller, Cabinet Member for Culture and Events at Chichester District Council. "As part of the process we worked closely with Everyone Active to identify suitable projects that met the bid criteria.

"In the current climate, running a swimming pool and associated facilities has become very expensive in terms of utility costs, and so even a modest action like using a pool cover will make a huge difference. We understand how important the pool is to people of all ages across the district, and we were very keen to bid for this funding in order to support this key leisure facility for our residents."

Stuart Mills, Everyone Active Area Contract Manager, said: "We are delighted the council has been successful in Phase II of the funding and it is great news that this project will further reduce the centre's carbon footprint.

"As a result of the energy crisis, we as an organisation have seen our energy bills more than double. The implementation of a pool cover and shower flow restrictors at Westgate Leisure Centre marks a significant step towards reducing the leisure centre's carbon footprint and simultaneously lowering energy costs. Everyone Active is proud to work alongside the council, as part of our Net Zero Strategy, to help achieve our company's net zero ambitions."

Lisa Dodd-Mayne, Sport England's Executive Director of Place says: "Swimming pools and leisure centres are vital community resources and are enormously important in helping people to be physically active.  Many pools have faced a real and significant threat to their survival this year, as local authorities and operators have battled the challenge of increased energy and wider costs, weakened reserves and difficulties with retaining staff.

"Sport England is proud of the role we've played in supporting these facilities through this difficult period.  We hope today's funding announcement will enable more public pools to improve their energy efficiency to be more environmentally and financially sustainable, so they remain available for future generations to enjoy."