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Published on Thursday 28 March 2024

Two Riversmeet swimming pool

Swimmers at Two Riversmeet Leisure Complex in Christchurch will benefit from the power of the sun this year with the installation of solar PV panels to heat the water. 

The popular leisure complex, which is owned and operated by Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council has secured £157,000 funding from Sport England’s Swimming Pool Support Fund for the installation of these solar panels. 

With around 10,000 swimmers using both the larger 25-metre and smaller 11-metre pool every month, it’s estimated that Two Riversmeet Leisure Complex will reduce energy usage by 100,000 kWH per annum and the utility costs are expected to decrease by around 20%, while also reducing the environmental impact of the building. 

This funding forms part of a broader initiative to enhance energy efficiency to further reduce the carbon footprint, with BCP Council funding an additional £600,000 for the upgrade of the pool's maintenance room and air source heat pumps. 

Councillor Mike Cox, Portfolio Holder for Finance, BCP Council said: 

“This funding award is great news for Two Riversmeet Leisure Complex as it will help to bring a huge reduction in carbon outputs for the complex, demonstrating our commitment to sustainability and creating a greener future for our community. We will also see a substantial financial benefit for the leisure complex through utility cost savings in the future.  

“The reduction of carbon omissions remains one of our priority objectives and we will continue to explore funding opportunities and new technologies to enable us to drive down our environmental impact even further.” 

A further 263 local authorities have also received a share of this funding, with £20m provided by Sport England via the National Lottery and just over £40m provided by the Government as part of their commitment to support the long-term sustainability of public leisure. 

Lisa Dodd-Mayne, Executive Director – Place said: 

“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 this 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.” 

Sports Minister Stuart Andrew said:  

“Millions of people swim every year in England, but high energy costs mean some pools are struggling financially. I know from personal experience the health benefits of getting down to your local pool, whether that’s just for a few lengths, to swim with friends, or a water aerobics class. This further £60 million of support from the Government and Sport England will make hundreds of swimming pools more energy efficient so they can keep offering their vital community and health benefits for generations to come.” 

In addition to the two pools, Two Riversmeet Leisure Complex also houses a fitness and cardio suite, two football pitches, four squash courts and more. Visit 2 Riversmeet Leisure Complex ( to find out more about what they offer. 

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