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We’re inviting you to show your support for community swimming by joining us for Big Swim Day.

The event on Friday 24 February at Rochdale Leisure Centre, Middleton Arena and Heywood Sports Village aims to demonstrate the level of local public support for swimming pools and other public leisure and cultural facilities at a time of unprecedented pressure.

Financial support for leisure providers to cover their energy costs has recently been scaled back, leaving many pools at risk of closure, as costs have spiralled out of control.

Swimming pools are particularly dependent on energy use, both in maintaining the ambient temperature in the facility and in heating the pool water to the right temperature for leisure use.

In line with community leisure centre operators nationally, Your Trust – a charitable organisation which manages several leisure and cultural venues across the borough of Rochdale – has experienced an energy cost rise of up to 300% compared to 2019.

The rise in energy costs comes on top of financial challenges arising out of closure during the period of the COVID pandemic, as well as a decrease in funding from local councils due to public expenditure constraints.

Estelle Rowe, Chief Executive Officer at Your Trust, said: “Your Trust is delighted to be supporting the Big Swim Day.

“We are extremely proud to offer three excellent swimming pools in the borough. Our pools play a vital role in our local communities – helping people to learn a vital life-skill, to exercise, compete or just have fun. All ages and levels of ability are welcome – there is something for everyone in a Your Trust pool.”  

“Big Swim Day is the ideal opportunity for local people to show support for local community pools facing unprecedented financial challenges, and while doing so to have a great time and build mental health and physical wellbeing.

“There’s no need to make special arrangements – just come along on the day!

“We hope that our regular swimmers will make an additional visit on that Friday, whilst many of the community who have not been for a while but know the important part public leisure plays in the life of the community will make a special visit.

Have a swim, bring your friends and family, and share your support for the day on social media using #bigswimday and #saveourpools.”

Local political representatives have been invited to come along to meet with Your Trust management, to hear of the scale of challenge being faced by the community leisure sector.

Estelle added: “Let’s all pull together, make a diary date to join us at your local pool on Big Swim Day!”