A strategy will now be developed to secure the future of swimming pools in the island.

The Department of Education, Sport and Culture and the Department of Infrastructure will develop regional sports hubs in the Isle of Man, as well as continue providing financial support for the southern swimming pool board.

This comes after members voted the motion through Tynwald unanimously with an amendment yesterday (Thursday).

Most aspects of the new strategy will be taken from the findings and suggestions of the Knight, Kavanagh and Page swimming pools report, which suggests the government step in to secure the short-term future of regional pools.

Education, Sport and Culture Minister Julie Edge presented the motion and the amendment was made by Speaker of the House of Keys Juan Watterson.

He said it would broaden the scope of the motion with three key principles.

‘The first is the short-term realistic prospect of the southern swimming pool board trading whilst insolvent or worse closing its doors altogether,’ he said.

‘The amendment seeks to give some reassurance that the facility will remain open while deliberations continue, a commitment to fund an efficient and effective service in the short term.

‘Secondly, it’s a recognition that money is tight and the Treasury can’t deliver all things to all people.

‘This therefore seeks consideration of a wider set of outcomes than simply DESC nationalisation of pools and raises the prospect of private finance being included in regional sports hubs, which seems a sensible way to make these regional facilities more viable.’

He added: ‘And finally, I do reject some of the criticism in the report about past and present members of the southern swimming pool board, which isn’t supported by evidence in the report.

‘However, I feel there needs to be recognition of the value of local authority members that have been brought into this area and due consideration should be given to include their voice in the future journey.’