Swim England Pleads With Government For Funds Amid Energy Crisis

According to Swim England, the nation’s rising energy costs are threatening the closure of hundreds of public leisure facilities in the next six months.

To draw attention to the matter, Swim England has joined a coalition of organizations, including the Chief Cultural and Leisure Officers Association, Community Leisure UK and others in the hope of receiving urgent monetary relief from the English government.

According to UK’s Parliament, ‘electricity prices increased for much of the last decade. Average bills were £760 ($949) in 2021 compared to £450 ($562) in 2020, a 36% real increase.’

Additionally, ‘average heating oil prices increased from just over 20 pence a litre at the start of the first lockdown to almost 60 pence a litre in mid-October 2021.’

With forecasts of those rising to 185 per cent in 2023, compared to 2021, all operators said they would cease operating within 18 months if no support was provided due to the ‘extreme’ pressures they are facing, per Swim England.

Jane Nickerson, Swim England chief executive, says of the situation, “The findings from the survey of pool owners and operators paints a very stark picture of the future for our swimming pools and leisure centres with price hikes, service reductions and pool closures on the horizon.

“The number of organisations coming together to highlight the seriousness of this issue for the health and wellbeing of our nation must be a wake-up call to the Government that an urgent solution must be found to support these vital facilities.”

With this as a backdrop, Swim England has sent a letter to UK’s government pleading for assistance in ensuring that the nation’s physical activity infrastructure does not collapse amidst the energy crisis.

“We are writing to request your commitment to being part of urgent talks with local government leaders and industry groups to address the impact of the energy crisis on the fitness and leisure sector, and that these discussions begin in the coming days.

“Whilst we appreciate this is a crisis that is impacting all aspects of our economy and society, the projected figures we set out in this letter forecast the collapse of parts of the sport and physical activity infrastructure in this country over the coming months – at a time when the nation will be taking inspiration from the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.”

Global energy markets are under pressure because of increasing demand as countries emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and because the war in Ukraine has threatened supplies from Russia. The UK receives only 4% of its oil and gas from Russia, but Russia is the world’s second-largest exporter of crude behind Saudi Arabia, driving up prices globally. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced earlier this year that the country planned to stop importing Russian oil, but not natural gas, by the end of 2022.

The UK reports that the average household energy bill in April 2022 jumped by a record 54% – the highest amount since the country began limiting price increases in 2017.

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2 years ago

Thanks to the bizarre network charges in the U.K. SCotland produces most of the fuel for the national grid in the U.K. but has 100% + increase in network charges because of unchanged ruling that if you produce and are near a population centre you pay less. London has an increase of 38%.

Increases are awful, but if they are in Private hands that what happens. Cheapest fuel costs in Europe are in Norway.

Pools should really all be solar powered

About Retta Race

Retta Race

Former Masters swimmer and coach Loretta (Retta) thrives on a non-stop but productive schedule. Nowadays, that includes having just earned her MBA while working full-time in IT while owning French 75 Boutique while also providing swimming insight for BBC.

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