PARKLANDS Leisure Centre in Okehampton has received £38,500 from the Swimming Pool Support Fund.

A total of 325 swimming pools and leisure centres across England have received money from the £60.5million Phase II of the fund to help ensure their long-term sustainability by improving their energy efficiency.

The funding for Parklands, which is owned by West Devon Borough Council, will pay for pool covers and a variable speed filtration system.

The works at the centre will make it more resilient for the years ahead, ensuring this important community pool will continue to improve community well-being and serve the people of West Devon for years to come.

Cllr Tony Leech, West Devon’s Lead Hub Member for Leisure, Health and Wellbeing, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to secure this funding for Parklands Leisure Centre.

“Rising energy costs have hit leisure facilities especially hard in recent times, and this funding will help ensure the future of this vitally important community facility for the town of Okehampton and the wider area.

“Our leisure centres bring people together, help people improve their physical and mental health and are hugely important to community wellbeing. Parklands is a facility that Okehampton can be proud of.”

Sports Minister Stuart Andrew 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.”

More than 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 photo-voltaic cells, LED lights and pool covers as well as variety of other capital improvements aimed at improving the energy efficiency of public facilities with pools in the medium to long-term. 

A total of 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.