Grant Makes a New Splash in Southport

Swimmers across Sefton are set to benefit from a huge cash injection to improve a number of facilities thanks to grant funding from Sport England.

Following an extensive consultation with over 3,000 people, Sefton Council is now leading the improvements that aim to get more people into the pool.

Plans now officially released reveal that Meadows, Bootle Leisure Centre and Dunes, Southport will share a significant amount of the grant of £531,000 to be spent over the next 12 months.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing, said: “It has been a rigorous process to get this far ensuring we understood what local communities need and we are absolutely thrilled to share the good news about the grant from Sport England in order to complete the changes.

“We feel privileged to have been chosen as a pilot area, one of only 12 across the country, and to know that Sefton has been awarded this sum of money.
“The work will include making the pools more accessible, changing the timetables to suit different groups of swimmers, upgrading the changing facilities and cleanliness – and it’s going to make a huge difference for all swimmers.”

Holly Hibbett, British Champion and European medallist has been impressed with the plans so far. She explains: “Having access to great facilities will be a huge boost for local people whether they are looking to enjoy a leisurely swim, improve their fitness, techniques or take part in a family splash.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the plans come to life and anything that helps to encourage more people to swim again has got to be a good thing, in my opinion.”

Lisa O’Keefe, Sport England’s Director of Insight, said: “Sport England is proud to be providing funding and support to Sefton 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 Sefton take advantage of the exciting new swimming opportunities in the area.”

Justine Blomeley, Relationship Manager at Sport England, added: “Sefton have really listened to the feedback from people across the borough on how improvements can be made.

“Through this project, local people are shaping swimming in Sefton, which will hopefully result in more people enjoying the many benefits of swimming on a regular basis.”

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