13th November, 2019


12 November 2019

Update –  The Poolpod will be fitted Thursday 12th December.

Life Leisure Barrow Park … one of 20 sites installing Poolpods to make aquatic activity more accessible

Swim England has revealed the 20 sites across the UK which are receiving funding to create inclusive swimming environments for people with long-term health conditions, disabilities and rehabilitation needs.

Life Leisure Barrow Park is one of just 20 sites across the UK who will welcome a great new PoolPod to the swimming pool in the coming months. All organisations receiving funding for their pools are community leisure trusts who, as registered charities or societies, reinvest all profits into those community facilities and services.

The London Marathon Charitable Trust provided a £750,000 grant to allow Swim England and its partners – the Activity Alliance, Community Leisure UK and GLL – to enhance the swimming provisions at these community pools.

Poolpod – the submersible lift – is already providing dignified and independent access to the water for swimmers.

Swim England CEO, Jane Nickerson, said: “We are pleased to be seeing the benefits of this grant from The London Marathon Charitable Trust.

“It is very important to reduce the barriers to aquatic activity for people with long-term health conditions or disabilities, and this funding is helping to make being in the water more accessible for all.

“We hope to see these provisions spread to as many centres as possible across the country.”

The implementation of the Poolpods are already underway at a number of centres, with the remainder to be completed by Spring 2020.

The 20 selected pools have been spread throughout England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Sir Rodney Walker, Chairperson of The London Marathon Charitable Trust, said: “The Trust funds work which challenges inequality of access to physical activity. We want to help create a society in which everyone is physically active, contributing to their health and wellbeing.

“We know that people who benefit most from aquatic activity – including disabled people, people with long-term health conditions, older people, people with mobility issues and pregnant women – often face the biggest barriers to accessing a swimming pool.

Welcome initiative

 Michelle Childs, Head of Health Development at Life Leisure commented, ‘We are delighted to bring the brilliant Pool Pod to Barrow residents thanks to the funding through LMCT and Swim England. We can deliver the best aquatics programme in the world but if people do not feel comfortable, or are physically able, to enter a swimming pool in the first place, then we will never truly realise the full benefits of water-based activities on improving people’s health.’

Michelle continued, ‘We expect our Pool Pod to be installed within the next 3 – 4 months and hope to work with local health professionals to encourage its usage.’

Aidan Murphy, Senior Business Manager at Life Leisure Barrow Park added, ‘We are delighted that Barrow Park has been chosen as a venue to receive this invaluable funding which will allow us to install a PoolPod. At Life Leisure we believe that physical activities should be accessible to all and the Poolpod will enable us as a leisure operator to engage with the wider community by making the pool more accessible to many more local people.’

Water Wellbeing’s ‘whole facility’ approach encourages centres to understand and improve the customer experience, through a wide range of resources available on the Swim England website.

Sites selected to receive funding from The London Marathon Charitable Trust & Swim England

 Life Leisure’s Barrow Park (Barrow-in-Furness)

Bath Sports and Leisure Centre, managed by GLL (Bath)

Mytime Active’s The Spa at Beckenham (Beckenham) and Biggin Hill Swimming Pool (Biggin Hill)

Grove Wellbeing Centre, managed by GLL (Belfast)

Western Leisure Centre, managed by GLL (Cardiff)

GLL’s Rainbow Leisure Centre (Epsom)

Glasgow TBA

Fusion Lifestyle’s Glass Mill Leisure Centre (Lewisham)

East Ham Leisure Centre, managed by Active Newham, and Newham Leisure Centre (London)

Finchley Lido Leisure Centre, managed by GLL (London)

Kentish Town Sports Centre, managed by GLL (London)

Thornton Heath Leisure Centre, managed by GLL (London)

Clissold Leisure Centre, managed by GLL (London)

Your Leisure’s Ramsgate Leisure Centre (Ramsgate)

LED’s Sidmouth Swimming Pool (Sidmouth)

Active Nation’s Bitterne Leisure Centre (Southampton)

Workington Leisure Centre, managed by GLL (Workington)

GLL’s Energise Leisure Centre (York)