2,000 pools could be lost by 2030, Swim England report warns

Almost 2,000 swimming pools in England could close by 2030 unless the Government and local authorities ‘act now’ to replace or refurbish ageing facilities, a new Swim England report published today has suggested.

The report, A Decade of Decline: The Future of Swimming Pools in England, estimates that the number of available pools in England will fall by 40% by the end of the decade, leaving millions without access to swimming facilities.

The national governing body for aquatics in England is now backing calls for the government to commit to investing £1billion into public leisure facilities to help refurbish existing pools.

Without it, the report estimates the number of pools in England will drop from 4,336 to 2,468.

Jane Nickerson, Swim England chief executive, said: “This is a very worrying report which could impact on millions of people across the country.

“Swimming pools are naturally essential to the future of all our aquatic sports if we are to nurture the next Adam Peaty, Tom Daley, Anna Hopkin or Maisie Summers-Newton.

“Pools are hubs of the local community, helping people of all ages to lead healthier, happier lives and saving the NHS hundreds of millions of pounds each year.

“They are also the places where millions learn a skill that could one day save their life – or someone else’s.

“Without adequate investment into the new pools this country needs, we are forecasting a huge decline in the available water space by the end of the decade, threatening the future of our sports, leaving millions shut out of the activities they love and widening health inequities.

Swim England is also asking local authorities to conduct an analysis of its pool stock to understand if it has the right pools in the right place to meet the needs of the community.

The governing body has a dedicated facilities team, which provides expert guidance on new and refurbished pool designs and facility management.

Stay up to date with The Dip, our free weekly outdoor swimming newsletter.

Outdoor Swimmer is the magazine for outdoor swimmers by outdoor swimmers. We write about fabulous wild swimming locations, amazing swim challenges, swim training advice and swimming gear reviews.