Funding boost for Island swimming pools

Published: 27 March 2024

The Heights swimming pool

Public swimming pools on the Isle of Wight are set to receive a welcome funding boost.

Pools at Ryde, Sandown and Freshwater will benefit from investment from Sport England's Swimming Pool Support Fund, following a successful bid by the Isle of Wight Council.

The support package will be put towards energy efficiency improvements such as installing solar panels, triple glazing, LED lighting and improving insulation.

More than £258,000 will be heading to the Island to carry out works at:

  • Ryde Waterside Pool — £128,297 towards the installation of photo voltaic panels and heat recovery units.
  • West Wight Sports and Community Centre, Freshwater — £86,315 towards upgrading its windows to triple glazing and the installation of photo voltaic panels.
  • The Heights, Sandown — £43,625 to replace fluorescent lighting with LED lighting and fit shower flow restrictors.

Clare Griffin, manager at West Wight Sports and Community Centre, said: “We are delighted to be receiving this grant from Sport England.

"It’s critical for us to be able to keep our costs as low as possible in order to be able to continue to operate our pool. But this grant will also help us to reduce our carbon emissions and our reliance on gas.

"Reducing our carbon footprint and contributing to raising the profile of important environmental issues is all part of being a responsible charitable business.”

Todd Miller, general manager at Ryde Waterside Pool, said: "We are elated to have received a successful outcome from the Sport England Grant, with great support from the Isle of Wight Council in the process. 

"The centre is currently struggling with the monthly cost of its electricity and gas, which has doubled in cost since September last year.

"We hope the new more energy efficient heating system for the swimming pool and pool hall, combined with the solar PV will make help to reduce the centre’s energy consumption and associated costs to secure the financial sustainability of the Centre.” 

Lawrence Edmonston, the council's leisure facilities manager, added: "Swimming pools and leisure centres are vital community resources and are enormously important in helping people to be physically active.

"This new funding will help us improve our energy efficiency to be more environmentally and financially sustainable, so they remain available for future generations to enjoy.”