Derby school receives funding for environmental improvements

Published: 28 March 2024

Swimming pool at Allestree Woodlands School

Allestree Woodlands School's swimming pool will be improved

Allestree Woodlands School has received £127,891 to make environmental improvements to its swimming pool, which is used by primary schools and swim groups across the city. 

Derby City Council submitted a bid on behalf of the school for the money from the Swimming Pools Support Fund, run by the Government and Sport England. 

The majority of the funding (£112,916) will go towards heat recovery units, while a further £14,975 will be spent on filtration systems. The school will put its own funding towards upgrading changing rooms as well. 

Kerry Blakemore, Facilities Manager at Allestree Woodlands School, said:

We are delighted to have received this funding through our bid with Derby City Council. The school pool was built in 1970 and, although the pool plant equipment has been updated over the years, it is becoming more costly each time we have a repair as the parts needed are normally obsolete due to the age of the equipment.

The current heat recovery has had multiple repairs and the parts are costly and scarce making it harder to repair each time there is an issue. Without a working unit the climate control can be very temperamental, affecting the pool hall temperature and the evaporation of the pool.

The pool has had to be closed on numerous occasions due to the pool hall being too cold which has affected the local community and school revenue. As such the proposed capital investment will aid the financial sustainability and longevity of the pool.

The school’s pool is used by its own students, including GCSE swimming students, as well as 1,100 children on Learn to Swim programmes run through different swim schools hiring the facility and pupils from a further 13 primary schools holding 26 sessions each week. 

The school also offers family splash sessions and lane swimming for the local community. 

Councillor Nadine Peatfield, Derby City Council Cabinet Member for City Centre, Regeneration, Culture and Tourism, said:

We’re thrilled to have helped Allestree Woodlands School secure this funding. The pool is a valuable community facility and having access to it is really important in helping people to be physically active.

In line with our climate change pledge, the work made possible by this funding will allow the pool to become more energy efficient with a reduced carbon footprint, so it can continue to offer health benefits for generations to come.

The school is working closely the company carrying out works to plan in suitable dates which would minimise disruption with the hope work can begin in the summer holidays. 


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