- According to a survey of pool operators, access to heated pools in the UK is under threat from rising energy costs.
- This comes amid a wider cost of living crisis in the UK.
- Measures being considered to cut costs include colder water and limited showers.
According to figures from ukactive, a non-profit trade association of gyms and recreation centers.
The UK is currently facing a cost of living crisis amid rising energy prices. The latter has raised the cost of heating Britain’s swimming pools from $632 million (£500 million) in 2019 to $1.58 billion (£1.25 billion) by 2022. ukactive first raised concerns with the government in March. government on the rise in costs.
Heated public swimming pools are widely used in the UK and are typically managed by leisure facilities. The leisure sector plays an important role in public health across the country. According to The Telegraph, the sector is estimated to save the National Health Service about half a billion pounds a year.
More than three quarters of public leisure facilities said they may have to close in the next six months due to this financial pressure, according to results shared with the media from ukactive’s nationwide survey of nearly a third of public swimming pool operators in the UK .
Recreational facilities seek to reduce operating costs through measures such as colder water, shorter opening hours and limited showers.
Eight in ten recreational facilities also said they would have to raise their prices to cope with the new costs. Just under two-thirds said they will likely be forced to let staff go, according to ukactive’s survey.
Ben Beevers, group development director of Everyone Active, a UK leisure chain, told The Telegraph: “We are facing a significant increase in energy costs, a problem that affects the whole country, with energy costs currently two to three times higher than the levels we paid in 2019/20.
“This is particularly important to our industry due to energy consumption, particularly in swimming pools, and the number of people using our facilities to maintain their physical and mental well-being.”
He said the chain had already implemented energy-saving measures, such as LED lighting, variable speed drives and pool covers, with the aim of a 10 percent reduction in energy consumption between April 2022 and April 2023.
This comes amid broader challenges for the UK economy, with inflation rising to its 40-year high. The government announced last week that households would receive a discount on energy prices from October, as part of a £15bn package to help increase the cost of living.