Thanet receives £162k funding to keep Hartsdown pool ‘afloat’

Hartsdown pool Photo Frank Leppard

A grant of £162,566 has been awarded for Hartsdown swimming pool from a £20m government fund.

Thanet is one of 103 local authorities to benefit from The Swimming Pool Support Fund.

The central Government funding is aimed to keeping pools afloat in response to increased operating costs.

Swim England’s latest Value of Swimming report showed how swimming helps generate social benefits, such as improved communities, skills and education worth £2.4 billion a year.

The Swimming Pool Support Fund was announced at the March Budget to support facilities with swimming pools. This first £20 million of funding is going to the swimming pools and leisure centres most at risk of closure or significant service reduction, and will be used to help with the recent rise in energy costs, such as paying towards immediate maintenance costs, heating and pool chemicals.

Photo Frank Leppard

Sports Minister Stuart Andrew said: “Leisure centres and pools are  vital for millions of people to stay fit and healthy, and we know that many public swimming pools are experiencing greater pressure due to increased operating costs.

“We have heard their concerns and have stepped in to help them make ends meet with £20 million immediate relief, and a further £40 million to help improve sustainability of public swimming pools over the long term.

“This is part of our support for grassroots sports facilities with more than £400 million in order to achieve our ambitious target of getting 3.5 million more people active by 2030.”

Hartsdown pool reopened in June this year after being  shut since February 2022 when the roof was damaged during   Storm Eunice. It is operated by Your Leisure.

Ward councillor John Worrow said: “I’m delighted a grant for such a significant amount of money has be awarded  to our local swimming pool.

“I hope the council will now help make it more affordable for families to use.”

24 Comments

  1. It’s merely a drop in the ocean . How can TDC permit Your Leisure to manage this? It’s shameful. They’ve demonstrated inadequacy with the Winter Gardens, Theatre Royal, and other complexes. Look at the roof debacle at this pool .. It’s almost certain that the pool will also shut down once the governmental funds are depleted.

    • Your Leisure operates council-owned assets. They used to receive subsidies from TDC to run them. TDC ceased the subsidies because the government slashed the amount of funding central government gives to local authorities, like TDC. The fault lies squarely with the Tories, nobody else. 13 years of shafting the working classes and running off with taxpayers money have caused this. You can’t blame Your Leisure.

      Footnote: I don’t work for, nor have I ever worked for Your Leisure. I have no skin in the game and no reason to defend them, other than to highlight the truth of the matter.

      • I worked at The Winter Gardens from 2007 to 2011 – i.e. mostly under a Labour government – and I can assure you it was falling apart even then. The fault lies in 40+ years of neglect, not the Tories or Labour. Perhaps you should save your ire for the Arts Council, who paid for a complete rewiring of Turner Contemporary, just 10 years after it opened.

        • You’ve missed the point, Peter. Yes, these assets have been historically under-funded. But, by comparison with what the Tories have done to public services and facilities, Labour were positively generous. But don’t let the truth inconvenience you.

          • James I’m 52 and I’m afraid I’ve come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter which party are in government nothing ever seems to change.

          • You are totally correct James.
            It’s simple economics. If you want to improve something – you need to spend money on it.
            If you invest wisely – you will get a return on your investment.
            Invest in the NHS – you get a healthier, more productive population.
            Invest in early years (i.e. Sure Start) – you get a healthier, more educated, more productive population.
            Invest in Education – you get a more educated, more valuable and more productive population.
            Invest in sporst facilities – you get a healthier, more productive population.
            The Conservatives’ failure to invest in our nation over the last 13 years (although somehow govt borrowing has sky-rocketed) has done nothing but hasten the decline in our services and infrastructure.

        • YOu mean like their last terms in power, where they gave the biggest uplift to the working and middle classes in three generations? Where the nhs worked, with tiny waiting lists and A&E wait times, with no ambo service supply issues? Where immigration worked(and they managed to deport 5k per year more on average) because they weren’t purposely dragging their feet to extract the maximum in political capital? Where lower income familes were given the help they need with childcare, benefits and social support schemes like Sure Start?

  2. The amount of money may well not be enough, but let’s hope.
    The main problem is that Local Councils have been so stripped of money by central Government that many are actually facing technical bankruptcy.
    Back in the day, local Councils provided the funding for local resources like swimming pools.
    But now, Westminster decides if Thanet will have a decent pool or not. Because Thanet(and scores of other Councils) are simply unable to afford such things.
    So they have to spend staff time and money composing complicated appeals to central government to beg for the money for specific projects.
    Back in the day, local councils would just decide for them selves if they had a local need and if they had the funds to help.
    These days, they all have to go cap-in-hand to London to ask for everything, even down to whether we get a decent swimming pool or not!

    • How many millions habe been squandered by TDC, animal exports, port ramsgate, pleasurama site, dreamland , paying off senior managment, compensation and non disclosure agreements ( so we won’t know what has been paid out), perhaps we should look at how much has been wasted rather than whine about not being given enough.

  3. Let’s hope some of it goes to regularly cleaning the changing rooms and showers! They were disgusting last time I visited.

  4. The photos of the swimming pool brought back happy memories of when I first moved to Thanet in the 1970s and as I was a qualified ASA teacher, loved teaching swimming full time to primary school children every Mon-Fri, until TDC stopped funding their transport. Sadly, schools couldn’t afford to provide coaches for their classes, so swimming lessons stopped and I was redeployed. There were diving boards then. Also, as Ramsgate swimming pool was being built, we criticised the fact that it had no balcony, so was unlikely to be profitable as it couldn’t be used for lessons, clubs or water polo matches, as there was no proper viewing space. Very sad.

  5. No doubt the utterly deluded Councillor Worrow will claim the credit for this achievement like he did with the increased street-cleaning in his ward…

Comments are closed.