DURSLEY leisure centre has been awarded almost £300,000 to help stay afloat in the midst of rising operating costs.

The Pulse - which is run by Stroud District Council -  is set to benefit from a slice of the government's £60m swimming pool support fund.

The funding will be used to refurbish the centre's entrance area and a new air-handling unit will also be installed. 

Meanwhile, Wotton Pool - which is run largely by volunteers - has also secured £6,000 for new pool covers.

The cash comes from the second phase of the government's swimming pool support fund, which will see 325 pools in England given a total of £60.5 million. 

Last Autumn, The Pulse secured £165,000, and Wotton Pool secured £11,000 from an earlier round of the support fund for heating, maintenance and chemicals.

Gazette Series: Stroud District Council

Keith Gerrard, SDC director of communities, said: “We welcome this award, which on top of the funding that the two pools received last year, will ensure that thousands of swimmers can continue to enjoy the benefits that swimming brings for physical and mental health.”

Wotton Swimming Pool in Symn Lane is owned by Wotton Town Council and run by a community interest company and is due to reopen next month. 

Cllr Catherine Braun, district councillor and candidate for Wotton, said: “I’m delighted for Wotton Pool that they’ve secured this funding for new pool covers. 

“The Wotton Pool volunteers work very hard all year round to maintain an excellent facility which benefits local residents and visitors of all ages, from young people learning to swim, to families and serious lane swimmers. 

“We are very privileged as local residents to have such a fantastic facility for our community.”

Sport England executive director Lisa Dodd-Mayne said: “Swimming pools and leisure centres are vital community resources and are enormously important in helping people to be physically active.

“Many pools have faced a real and significant threat to their survival this year, as local authorities and operators have battled the challenge of increased energy and wider costs, weakened reserves and difficulties with retaining staff.

“Sport England is proud of the role we’ve played in supporting these facilities through this difficult period. 

“We hope the funding announcement will enable more public pools to improve their energy efficiency to be more environmentally and financially sustainable so they remain available for future generations to enjoy.”