Phase II of the Swimming Pool Support Fund will open 4th September. More information has been released on what’s being funded and what applications should include. Below, we’ve outlined everything you need to know.

Swimming Pool Support fund: A brief summary

Managed by Sport England, the aim of the Swimming Pool Support Fund (SPSF) is to help alleviate immediate financial pressures, as well as to provide investment in energy efficiency measures to reform facilities, reduce future operating costs and deliver long-term sustainability. Phase I of funding has now closed, and Phase II applications will open from 4 September.

Funding objectives of SPSF Phase II

The objectives of Phase II – Capital of the SPSF are to:

  • Make public swimming places more energy efficient and help leisure centres become environmentally and financially sustainable.
  • Minimise the closure of public swimming pools that are run by local governments.
  • Prevent gaps from appearing in the availability of public swimming facilities.
  • Decrease the amount of carbon emissions coming from the public leisure sector in the medium to long term.
  • Provide more help to areas with the most socio-economic needs

Who can apply for the SPSF and what will be funded

In order to apply, applications must be from a local authority that:

  • is based in England,
  • has at least one swimming pool that will benefit from improved energy efficiency because of this support
  • have applied for funding towards eligible costs.

Funding for Phase II will go towards costs related to capital investments that help reduce energy consumption at swimming pool facilities. These costs include materials costs, installation costs associated with the intervention, and professional and technical project fees directly associated with the on-site construction/installation of the capital intervention.

The funding does not cover:

  • Costs of new build facilities. Although, the funding can be used to enhance a planned refurbishment as long as the monies are additional to the current plans.
  • Expenses or obligations that were accrued before receiving the grant funding
  • Ongoing costs for repairs and maintenance
  • Projects that were already part of planned future budgets and are not new capital endeavours
  • The expenses of extra surveys and assessments of various facilities or for a particular facility.

‘A menu of support’ for available Phase II interventions

Sport England, organiser of the Fund, highly recommends that applicants select interventions that are already known to generate energy savings for swimming pool facilities. As such, they’ve collated a table of interventions. The full list of eligible measures is on the Sport England website – and includes solar PV, metering and monitoring software, variable speed filtration and shower flow restrictors. The facility is encouraged to have completed the items at the top before moving to items further down the list.

What’s next?

The Swimming Pool Support Fund Phase II opens 4 September 2023 and will remain open for six weeks – until noon on Tuesday 17 October 2023. There will also be a webinar held to go over the detail of the application form and process on 11 and 14 September.

Applications will require high level information about the intervention regarding plans – such as proposed strategy, current energy tariffs, and facility level detail – so getting key documents together ahead of time is vital.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Swimming Pool Support Fund, please get in touch for a no-obligation chat with our industry-leading experts at Sustainable Energy First.