Swimming pool set to get solar panels – but another misses out on investment – Yahoo News UK

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Funding has been secured to install solar panels on a Southampton leisure centre – but a second site in the city missed out on securing investment.

The Quays Swimming and Diving Complex in Harbour Parade will receive £89,000 from the national swimming pool support fund to install solar panels.

Southampton City Council also tabled a bid for Bitterne Leisure Centre.

Daily Echo: Councillor Toqeer Kataria.

Daily Echo: Councillor Toqeer Kataria.

However, the facility in Dean Road was not allocated any of the government’s £60million fund for capital investment in public swimming pools.

Cllr Toqeer Kataria, cabinet member for communities and leisure, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “I am delighted that SCC have received funding of £89k, which will be used to install solar panels at The Quays, thereby reducing energy costs. The work is scheduled to be completed before March 2025.

“Unfortunately, Bitterne Leisure Centre did not receive any funding on this application. The reason given by the government is that they fund only one centre in each local authority rather than based on what’s needed.”

Bitterne Leisure Centre and The Quays are run by national charity Active Nation.

The swimming pool support fund has been administered on behalf of the government by Sport England.

Phase one of the scheme saw £20.3million dished out to local authorities to cover revenue costs and keep pools open in the challenging financial climate.

The second phase for capital projects to boost energy efficiency and keep running costs down will see investment in 325 pools across the country.

The grants ranged in size from £3,000 to nearly £1million.

Cllr Kataria added: “We are extremely proud that Southampton was one of the small number of cities in the country in which all our swimming pools reopened straight after the pandemic and none of our pools closed permanently following the pandemic, despite the significant increases in utility costs.

“The Labour administration is deeply committed to making swimming pools and leisure facilities in Southampton more efficient. We recognise the role these facilities play in promoting health, well-being, and community engagement. To ensure their continued improvement and sustainability, we will continue to seek grants to pay for this work.”

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