Water temperature could be lowered at local swimming pools to save costs ahead of a difficult winter for operators.

It comes as research from UK Active found that 40 per cent of council areas are at risk of losing their leisure centres and swimming pools within five months – or seeing services rationalised – due to the sector’s growing energy crisis.

Some public swimming pools around the country are reported to be at threat of closure because it has become too expensive to heat the water.

Peter Bundey, CEO designate at Better leisure centres, which has 20 locations in Oxfordshire, said it was facing a huge "more than threefold" increase in energy bills.

As a result it said it was considering lowering both the water and air temperature at its swimming pools.

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He said: "We expect a modest drop in water temperature, typically 1C, but we are making decisions on a case-by-case because of the varying environments our pools are located within and based on discussions with our local authority partners. 

"We are also monitoring feedback from our customers on these changes - to date no significant issues have been raised."

The non-profit charitable social enterprise organisation is also reviewing the baseload requirements for plant and equipment overnight, to see if energy saving measures can be taken. 

"This is obviously a preferable option as it doesn’t directly affect our customers," he said. 

Another area under review is saunas.

Mr Bundey said: "We are exploring, again on a case-by-case basis whether we can compress usage within designated blocks of time, to make most efficient use of them. 

"We may also need to extend this approach to our wider timetables and are in discussions with our partners about how we can compress usage, while capturing the most users, so ensuring we can keep our facilities open during the difficult winter ahead.”



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This story was written by Miranda Norris, she joined the team in 2021 and covers news across Oxfordshire as well as news from Witney.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Miranda.Norris@newsquest.co.uk. Or find her on Twitter: @Mirandajnorris

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