Pendle Leisure Trust will receive a boost of £353,000 from the government to help protect two leisure centres in East Lancashire.

The government has announced that Nelson Wavelengths will receive £233,973 and West Craven Leisure Centre £119,036 from the £60m Swimming Pool Support Fund.

This financial support comes after councillors in Pendle have clashed repeatedly this year over the future of leisure centres as they face budget challenges and rising energy, maintenance and construction costs.

Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson has expressed his delight as this funding, announced as part of the 2023 Spring Budget, is set to provide essential support to public swimming pools across England, with a particular focus on ensuring that local leisure centres stay afloat.

He said: “Rising energy costs have caused significant issues for our local swimming pools, so ahead of the budget one of my main asks of the Chancellor was that our local leisure centres were provided with additional support. 

“I was delighted the Chancellor announced a £60 million Swimming Pool Support Fund and the news that £353,000 of that is being awarded to Pendle Leisure Trust is wonderful news.

"This great news is in addition to the millions of Levelling Up funding already being invested in our local theatres, which is currently helping transform the Muni, Hippodrome and Little Theatre.”

Sport England is delivering the Swimming Pool Support Fund on behalf of government to secure the future of leisure facilities. It is aimed at maintaining public access to swimming pools and encouraging a healthy and active lifestyle for residents of all ages.

The criteria for allocating the funding considered various factors, including financial need, the risk of closure, proximity to other swimming pools, and the level of demand for each facility.

Sport England announced the first phase of funding recipients today (November 4), totalling £20.3m in revenue support targeting where it could prevent the largest amount of closures.