Wakefield's swimming ‘deserts’ revealed after Team GB Olympics star Duncan Scott slams pool closures

Wakefield has nine times less public swimming space than the best equipped area in the country.

Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 1:14 pm
Minsthorpe pool.

And some parts of England have 10 times less public swimming space than others, exclusive analysis shows.

The pool ‘deserts’ have been laid bare after Tokyo Olympics star Duncan Scott warned of the “quite sad” closure of pools across the UK.

The best equipped local authority area is Rushmoor in Hampshire, which has 5,450 sq metres of pool per 100,000 population.

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Comparatively, Wakefield has 626 sq metres, which puts it below the national average.

The district has six swimming pool sites with a total of eight pools covering a total of 2,202 sq metres.

And Yorkshire has half the public pool space of the South East.

The difference is equivalent to 39 Olympic-size swimming pools.

Great Britain Diving Federation president Jim McNally said the Government’s policy of providing sport for all was “in tatters”.

He said: “This is a situation which is getting worse and worse and the grassroots sport is being allowed to wither on the vine.”

Julie Russell, council service director for leisure said: “Pool space across our district meets the requirements of Sports England’s water space planning model, which takes into account all swimming facilities in the district – not just those provided by local authorities.”