Published on 25th March 2024

Sandford parks lido, lido, funding

Funding from Sports England Swimming Pool Support Fund and Cheltenham Zero Community Grant, secured for future generations to continue to enjoy the Lido

Over £300k of funding has been secured for a series of projects and improvements that will reduce carbon emissions and energy bills of the borough’s much loved outdoor swimming pool.

Cheltenham Borough Council (CBC) and Sandford Parks Lido have secured over £306k from the Sports England Swimming Pool Support Fund (SPSF), with additional support of £10k from CBC’s Cheltenham Zero Community Grant.

The funding will help the Lido achieve the third stage of their decarbonisation plan, by purchasing a new pool cover for the children’s pool and installing solar PV panels in the Lido car park. The Cheltenham Zero Community Grant was awarded in recognition of the great value of the work proposed by Sandford Parks Lido to tackle energy efficiency including the installation of EV charging points, car ports which will hold a solar array and planned improvements to safety and accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists.

Julie Sargent, chief executive officer of Sandford Parks Lido, said: “Our decarbonisation journey started last year with site efficiencies and the installation of solar panels on our plant room. These grants will enable us to increase our green energy production to generate most of our current electrical demand.

“Many swimming pools are facing closure across the UK due to the utility crisis, it's vital that we develop new ways to power our pools. In addition to Sport England and the National Lottery, we’d like to thank Cheltenham Borough Council for supporting our grant application.”

Gemma Bell, director of finance and assets at Cheltenham Borough Council, said: “I am delighted that both the joint bid for funding from SPSF was successful and that additional funding was awarded by the Cheltenham Zero Community Grant – we know how well loved the Lido is and how important it is to the town. This funding marks a significant step towards creating a more sustainable future for the Lido.”

Lisa Dodd-Mayne, executive director, Sport England, continued: “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 today’s 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.” 

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The Sandford Parks Lido in the heart of Cheltenham boasts a 50m heated pool that combines fitness, fun, family and heritage all in one. Find out more on their website.

The grant from the Cheltenham Zero Community Fund was allocated from an underspend from the £50k pot of funding that was originally made available in 2022/23 for community groups to tackle energy efficiency projects, as part of Cheltenham’s work to help address the climate emergency.

Photo for single use only

Photo from L-R Fabia Garau, general manager of the Lido; Richard Gibson, head of communities, wellbeing & partnerships at Cheltenham Borough Council and Julie Sargent, chief executive officer of the Lido