National Lottery boost for two Leicester swimming pools
Published on Thursday, July 20, 2017
LEICESTER City Council has been named as a partner in a major Sport England-backed pilot programme to get more people swimming.
The city council has been awarded £329,100 of National Lottery funding from Sport England as part of its Swim Local initiative.
In Leicester, the pilot project will focus on two pools – Braunstone Leisure Centre and Cossington Street Sports Centre – with the aim of encouraging more local people to use their pools.
The new cash will pay for a major refurbishment of the changing facilities and reception area at Cossington Street, as well as improvements to changing and reception facilities at Braunstone Leisure Centre.
Both pools will also run a number of schemes designed to get more people involved in swimming, backed by new promotions and more staff dedicated to supporting swimming.
The proposed changes follow a survey of existing and potential users at both pools, who were asked to flag any barriers that they felt might put people off swimming at either of the leisure centres.
Feedback from focus groups highlighted key areas for improvement including doing more to raise awareness of the pools and the benefits of swimming in the local communities; overhauling the changing rooms and information desks at both pools; and increasing the number of swimming sessions aimed at different levels of ability and confidence.
Cllr Piara Singh Clair, assistant city mayor for culture, leisure and sport, said: “We’re proud to be part of Sport England’s Swim Local pilot programme thanks to generous funding from the National Lottery.
“This will allow us to make important changes that we hope will improve the customer experience and increase take-up of swimming at two of our pools.
“Swimming is a great way to get active, and a popular way into sport and competition. We want to help open that up to more people and help ensure that swimming continues to thrive at our leisure centres.”
Lisa O’Keefe, Sport England’s Director of Insight, said: “Sport England is proud to be providing funding and support to Leicester City Council to help more people get active through swimming. A lot of research has gone into the development of the Swim Local projects to make sure we’re giving the local community what they want and need.
“We know swimming is one of the ways many people prefer to get active. At Sport England we want everyone to enjoy the benefits that exercise brings, and hope people in Leicester take advantage of the exciting new swimming opportunities in the area.”
Visitors to Braunstone Leisure Centre will begin to benefit from the planned improvements over the coming months.
Work will also get underway at Cossington Street Sports Centre to ensure improvements are ready to launch in early 2018. Refurbishment of the changing room areas is due to begin in November and will take around six to eight weeks to complete. Some closures will be required during this time.