Swimming Pools and Leisure Facilities

Culture, Media and Sport – in the House of Commons am ar 23 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Rachel Maclean Rachel Maclean The Minister of State, Home Department

What assessment she has made of the impact of the swimming pool support fund on local pools and leisure facilities.

Photo of Rob Butler Rob Butler Ceidwadwyr, Aylesbury

What assessment she has made of the impact of the swimming pool support fund on local pools and leisure facilities.

Photo of Stuart Andrew Stuart Andrew Assistant Whip, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport), Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Equalities)

Responding to concerns that we heard from the sector, in 2023-24, the Government have awarded more than £60 million to address cost pressures facing public swimming pools and improve energy efficiency in the long term.

Photo of Rachel Maclean Rachel Maclean The Minister of State, Home Department

I put on record my thanks to the Minister’s Department for the considerable sum of funding—£382,000 —that has been made available to Redditch to level up swimming pool and leisure facilities in my constituency. That comes on the back of £16.5 million of town deal funding, as well as £5 million of culture funding. Does she agree that significant representations have resulted in a meaningful commitment to level up Redditch within this Parliament? Does she agree that mental health and wellbeing are a key part of that?

Photo of Stuart Andrew Stuart Andrew Assistant Whip, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport), Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Equalities)

My sex has obviously changed, but I certainly agree with my hon. Friend. I pay tribute to her for the enormous campaigning she has done on behalf of her constituents in Redditch in securing that significant investment. I agree that getting people active is vital to improving their physical and mental health. That is exactly why we are investing this historic amount of money in grassroots facilities and have published the new “Get Active” strategy, which sets out our ambition to get 3.5 million more people active by 2030.

Photo of Rob Butler Rob Butler Ceidwadwyr, Aylesbury

Aqua Vale swimming and fitness centre in Aylesbury has a prime location in the heart of town, but I am sorry to say it is starting to show its age. The announcement of £240,000 from this Conservative Government to improve the facilities there is superb news. Will my right hon. Friend highlight to Aylesbury residents the benefit that this investment will now bring to my constituents?

Photo of Stuart Andrew Stuart Andrew Assistant Whip, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport), Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Business and Trade) (Minister for Equalities)

I congratulate my hon. Friend on campaigning hard on behalf of his constituency and securing that £240,000 for a leisure centre that was feeling its age—I think I know how it feels. We know how important pools are for our communities, which is why we are providing this funding. At Aqua Vale, the installation of solar panels will improve energy efficiency and contribute to significant savings, ensuring that leisure centre for the people of Aylesbury to stay fit and healthy.