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Swimming: Finance

Volume 478: debated on Monday 23 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what guidance he has issued to education authorities on the funding of school swimming pools in the last five years. (212082)

No guidance specifically on the capital funding of school swimming pools has been issued to local education authorities by this Department in the last five years. There are no barriers to schools or authorities using schools capital funding for capital maintenance of existing pools, or to construct new ones where this is their local priority.

In our non-statutory area guidelines for schools, Building Bulletin 98, “Briefing Framework for Secondary School Projects” (2004), indoor swimming pools fall into the category of supplementary net area which is not included where the Department uses these guidelines as a funding model, for instance for Building Schools for the Future. Our guidance suggests that swimming pools will therefore normally need other sources of funding, such as local authority leisure service, Lottery or Department of Culture Media and Sport funding.

This guidance is repeated in “Inspirational Design for PE and Sports Spaces” (2005). We also counsel that pools should be cost efficient to allow the facility to be managed with sustainable operating costs. These publications are available in the parliamentary Libraries.