December 3, 2022 8.00 am This story is over 16 months old

Cold dipping: Lincolnshire councils lowering pool temperatures to cut costs

Several pools will be a degree colder

Note: This story has been updated following a statement on West Lindsey Leisure Centre.

Lincolnshire leisure centres are resorting to chillier pools and shorter opening hours in order to save money.

North Kesteven and South Kesteven district councils have confirmed that their leisure operators have reduced the pool temperatures by 1℃.

Everyone Active, who operates West Lindsey Leisure Centre has also reduced temperatures.

This will affect swimmers at Sleaford, North Hykeham, Grantham, Stamford, Bourne and Gainsborough.

Rising energy costs have been blamed as one of the main factors behind the change.

GLL, which runs leisure centres for North Kesteven, will also be shortening opening hours in a bid to reduce costs.

The councils for West Lindsey, East Lindsey, South Holland and Boston have confirmed that they don’t have any plans to turn down the temperature.

Active Nation, who operates Lincoln’s Yarborough Leisure Centre, has also been contacted.

Leisure centre operators say the lower temperatures are still within industry guidelines.

OneNK Leisure Centre will have a slightly colder pool and reduced opening hours | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Chris Ord, Partnership Manager at GLL, said: “The recent rises in utility prices have had a huge impact on GLL, both as a not-for-profit organisation and as a leisure operator.

“While utility price rises are a nationwide, cross-sector issue, leisure centres and in particular those with swimming pools, are being disproportionately impacted. In North Kesteven our annual operating costs are up 164% on electric and 233% on gas against 2019.

“While we have been doing all we can to reduce our energy consumption for example by introducing LED bulbs and movement sensors to lighting, installing variable speed drives to pumps and thermal pool covers, we need to take further steps in order to remain viable this winter.

“We have therefore reduced pool temperatures by 1℃ (they remain well within industry guidelines) and have taken the difficult decision to make some small adjustments to our winter timetable. During periods when our leisure facilities are at their quietest, we will be opening an hour later or closing an hour earlier on certain days.

“This will see Sleaford Leisure Centre reduce its opening times by six hours per week, Better Gym Sleaford by six hours per week and One NK in Lincoln by seven hours a week.  Full details on the revised winter timetable can be found at: https://www.better.org.uk/leisure-centre/north-kesteven”.

Leisure centres are facing huge energy bills | Photo: Adobe Stock

A spokesperson for South Kesteven District Council said: “It is a very challenging time for all leisure operators, and particularly those with swimming pools, as they are high users of gas and electricity.

“Our leisure operator LeisureSK is always mindful of energy efficiency and pricing and one mitigating action the company has taken is to slightly lower the pool temperatures in an appropriate manner.

“The temperature of the leisure pool and main pool at The Meres in Grantham is reduced by 1℃ for swimmers as we continue to maintain industry standards while seeking a sensible balance.”

Bourne and Stamford Leisure Centre will also be affected.

Everyone Active operates in Lincolnshire is at West Lindsey Leisure Centre.

Martin Miles, the regional contract manager, said: “We adhere to the Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group guidelines, which state that a swimming pool should be between 26 and 32 degrees.

“Whilst we have reduced our temperatures to help save energy, they all remain within these guidelines. Our pools cater for all types of customers – from athletes to babies – and we try to maintain a balance to ensure the temperatures remain comfortable for everyone.

“However, as an organisation, we are facing significant increases in energy costs – an issue impacting the whole country – and a one-degree reduction in pool temperature can result in a saving of up to 10% in energy use. This will go a long way to helping us manage energy costs in the current climate.

“This is a situation we are continually reviewing and we will take customer feedback on board, as our key aim is to keep people active in the local communities we serve.”


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