THE electricity bill for a town's swimming pool almost trebled in just one month - and now its manager fears a massive hike in its gas bill as well later this year.

Tadcaster Community Swimming Pool paid £3,949 for its electricity in September, but the bill soared to £11,140 in October, said manager Chris Porter.

He said the increase of £7,191 came despite a similar consumption of power in the two months, and bills were only going to increase in future.

"This is happening at the majority of businesses across the UK, but is particularly difficult for Community Swimming Pools like us," he said.

He said Tadcaster's bill for November fell slightly to £9,500 as a series of energy-saving measures kicked in, and admission charges had increased this year to help meet the higher costs, with adults now paying £6 instead of £5.

He said the pool would be able to keep going for the coming year but his big concern was what would happen when its contract for gas expired next October.

A similar increase from £4,000 per month currently to £10,000 or £12,000 a month would make the pool unsustainable, unless extra Government help was provided.
York's swimming pools have also faced a big hike in energy costs, said their operator, charitable social enterprise GLL.

"Our utility costs have more than doubled in the last year," said a spokesperson.

"But we are taking all opportunities to mitigate these – including investing in LED and motion sensor lighting and adding pool covers."

They added that it was also reducing pool temperatures by 1 degree and turning off plant and lighting at night., and it continued to offer affordable and accessible leisure activities this winter, including swimming.

The spokesperson and Mr Porter both said they were backing calls for the Government to provide more support to the sector, including a Swim England campaign.

Swim England said swimming pools were crucial parts of local communities, the homes not only of swimming, para-swimming, diving, water polo and artistic swimming clubs but also helping to support the health and happiness of the country.

"They are where millions of people learn how to swim and be safe in the water but they are under threat as a result of soaring energy prices," it said.

"We are already seeing reduced opening hours and pools closing across the country and without additional support from the government the situation will only get worse."

It said a petition launched to raise awareness had now closed after receiving 48,928 signatures, but it was encouraging people to write to their MP, asking them to lobby the Prime Minister to Save Our Pools.