A leisure centre which has recently undergone a multi-million transformation has received a major funding post.

Farnworth Leisure Centre opened its doors again in June last year after the revamp as part of the town’s wider £13.3M regeneration project.

The Brackley Street centre has now been awarded £126,000 as part of a government scheme to improve swimming pools all around the country.

Bolton Council cabinet member for culture Cllr Nadeem Ayub said: “This new funding is great news for Farnworth Leisure Centre, as only last year we were also able to extend the gym, add a dance studio, replace windows and bring in additional car parking.

“It also comes at an exciting time in the regeneration of Farnworth and Bolton.

The Bolton News: The multimillion pound redevelopment of Farnworth town centre is currently underwayThe multimillion pound redevelopment of Farnworth town centre is currently underway (Image: Capital&Centric)

“Very close by, the Farnworth Green development is progressing well, building a vibrant and modern new neighbourhood in the heart of the town centre.”

The money was handed out as part of the government’s £60.5M Swimming Pools Support Fund, aimed at improving energy efficiency at swimming pools and leisure centres across England.

In Farnworth Leisure Centre’s case the £126,000 will come from the National Lottery, Sport England and will be used to install PV panels and additional metering and monitoring software.

Bolton Council cabinet member for the environment Cllr Richard Silvester said: “These new solar panels are all part of Bolton Council’s objectives in tackling climate change and reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The Bolton News: A range of facilities are on offer at the leisure centreA range of facilities are on offer at the leisure centre (Image: Bolton Council)

“This is just the kind of scheme that we will see more of in future, with the cumulative impact of lots of projects adding up to make a big difference.

“And at a time when council budgets are stretched to the limit, savings on energy costs are extremely welcome.”

This comes not long after work was carried out at the centre from 2022 to 2023 to extend the gym and a new dance studio.

This included new windows and a reconfigured car park with additional spaces.

The leisure centre work comes amid the broader regeneration of the town, including the Farnworth Green scheme, which aims to build 85 new homes with shops and leisure spaces.

The Bolton News: The leisure centre has recently been expandedThe leisure centre has recently been expanded (Image: Bolton Council)

The scheme is also set to include a new public square, a community hub and spaces for outdoor community events.

Last October, the government announced that Farnworth was to receive around £20M from the Towns Fund over the next ten years to remake the area.

In March this year Bolton Council approved plans to set up a new Towns Board for Farnworth that will help oversee the regeneration.

Where swimming pools across the country are concerned, the government hopes the extra funding will help them cope with increased energy costs and encourage people to keep active.

Sports Minister Stuart Andrew said: “We are sticking to our plan to get millions more people active by 2030, because we know that active people are fitter, happier and healthier.

“Millions of people swim every year in England, but increased energy costs mean some pools are struggling financially.

“This further £60M of support from the government and Sport England will ensure hundreds of swimming pools can lower their operating costs in the long run, and continue to provide an important service for communities across the country.”

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Former Team GB swimmer Michael Gunning has added his voice to those emphasising just what vital resources swimming pools can be.

He said: “Our pools are a hub for the entire community, and I’ve seen first-hand the importance of increasing access to aquatics for people of all ages.

“The pandemic was a tough time for all of us, but this investment will mean many more people from all backgrounds will have the chance to use their local pool.

“Whether it’s learning a vital skill, bringing families together to have fun, or using the water to improve your physical and mental health, swimming pools save lives.”

Work on the upgrades is set to start later this year and is expected to be completed by March next year.