To help inspire you in your own project, we've gathered together a collection of success stories of pools that have been saved - and in some cases are now thriving - thanks to the support of local communities.
Tadcaster Swimming Pool Trust
Tadcaster Swimming Pool Trust was set up in 1992 by the residents of Tadcaster. The group included the head teacher from the secondary school, a doctor and a local businessman. The main aim of the group was to establish a public swimming pool in the town. The need for a swimming pool was established by an annual questionnaire, where the residents highlighted a swimming pool as their number one priority for five years running.
The Trust was set up with the support of the District Council. The ethos was always to be operated and managed by volunteers and to be a charitable organisation. In the first three years the Trust had organised a support fund from the town council until the customer base had been established. After the first three years the Trust received no ongoing support from any grant organisation or the District Council.
The Trust launched an apprentice scheme which recruited and trained local young people. The scheme has been so successful that it still operates today. The Trust continued to operate making a small surplus until 2007 when there was a tile failure in the main pool and the pool had to be closed. The estimation costs for the work to be completed were £150,000 and would take approximately three months to complete. This left the Trust to find £150,000 to get the facility open again. The whole community came together to fundraise this money along with grant money from Sport England, Selby District council and other local companies. After re-building the staff and voulnteer base in the wake of the tile failure, the Trust reopened in February 2008 and has continued to increase pool attendance, achieving their highest annual figures to date in 2012.
- Architecture and lighting awards
- 18 years of operation without any ongoing financial support
- 110 volunteers who help operate the facility
- Re-opening after the tile failure
- Approved training centre for lifeguard and swimming teacher training
- Aquamark/swim21 awards for our lesson scheme and swim squad
- 950 children on the swimming lessons each week
- Provide discounted swimming lessons for seven schools in the area
- Award winning apprentice scheme
- Duke of York winners
- Provide swimming and fitness facilities from 7am – 10pm every day.
Tadcaster Swimming Pool Trust
Jesmond Swimming Pool, Newcastle - Turning a pool into an award-winning business
Built in 1938, Jesmond Swimming Pool in Newcastle was closed in 1991. As the third best-performing pool in the area, the local council felt that its users could easily transfer to other pools. In response, the local community got together and formed the Jesmond Swimming Project to campaign to re-open the pool.
Intense planning and preparation followed and the Foundation for Sports and the Arts awarded a grant of £50,000, which led to the pool reopening in April 2002.
Since then it was awarded the runner's up prize in the national Social Enterprise Awards and is a leading example of sustaining an urban social enterprise pool over many years.
- Creating a Trust of local residents
- Applying for a National Lottery grant
- Reducing running costs through energy efficiency
- Being completely customer-focused
Jesmond Swimming Pool
Gig Mill Swim School
In 2010, a group from the pool committee at Gig Mill school in Dudley, West Midlands were trying for funding to get Gig Mill pool refurbished. At that time, the pool was only used one term out of the academic year, in the summer, as the building wasn’t heated and needed updating to make it a more comfortable environment for swimmers and teachers. To enable this to happen, the building needed to be rebuilt.
As a requirement of funding from Sport England and Ibstock Cory Environmental Trust, the refurbished pool had to service the community as well as being functional for the school. The pool committee and Sharon Rolinson (Swim School Supervising Teacher) discussed ideas on how the pool could be used to reach out to serve the community. They decided it would be in the school and community's best interests for the school to create their own swimming school. This enabled them to have control over how the use of the pool would benefits all parties involved. They liaised with the ASA to assess their facilities and programmes and once their plans were approved, they were then set to put them into action.
- Continued support from the pool committee
- High level of teaching provided by their staff
- They have offered a pathway into employment from helper teachers to pool coordinators and they now employ 17 swimming teachers, some of which are ex-pupils of the school
- They have recently won the community club of the year in the Black Country Sport and Physical Activity awards and would like to thank everyone involved for their support.