December 5, 2022 1.00 pm This story is over 11 months old

‘Too cold to have fun’: Swimmers put off by chilly pools cost savings

“It’s all very well people saying swim faster – not possible for the elderly”

Colder swimming pools will be too chilly to enjoy, Lincolnshire people have said.

Several Lincolnshire councils have announced they will be turning the temperature down in a bid to cut costs.

Swimming pools in Sleaford, North Hykeham, Grantham, Stamford, Bourne and Gainsborough will be at least one degree cooler.

The operators say these are still within industry guidelines, and will help the battle soaring energy bills.

However, swimmers weren’t keen on the idea when the Lincolnite broke the news last week.

Several took to social media to say it would put them off taking a dip in future.

One parent said: “I’ve already stopped taking my little one as it’s too cold. Even my older ones who can swim say it’s too cold and you get out after a very short while, so it’s not worth going any more.”

The Meres Leisure Centre in Grantham is amongst the pools affected | Photo: SKDC

Another swimmer suggested suggested: “I think they should have at least one pool (or maybe one day a week) kept warmer for elderly and young children.

“It’s great exercise, but those people who struggle to maintain temperature will be put off.”

Another feared the temperature change would affect the young and old most.

“Soon it will be too cold for kids to have fun and learn to swim. It’s all very well people saying swim faster – not possible for the elderly,” she said.

One person said it was unfair on young children and toddlers, adding: “I’m sure they could save a few quid in other areas.”

One woman said: “I must admit I wouldn’t go if the water was cold – it took me ages to get into Boultham Baths when I was younger.”

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

One man pointed out that if it led to fewer customers, the leisure centres would lose out anyway – “they may as well close down.”

Others were more optimistic about the temperatures.

One encouraged people to stay active, saying: “If you actually swim, you don’t stay cold for long – move and you’ll be alright!”

Current temperatures were nothing compared to one commenter’s childhood.

“I went to South Park High School where the pool wasn’t heated and the windows had no glass, but we still had to do lessons in it,” they said.

Leisure operators say that the cuts were unavoidable, with a reduction of one degree cutting energy bills by up to 10%.

GLL, who runs North Kesteven’s leisure centres, also said they would be reducing opening hours during quieter periods.

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