A review into the island’s swimming pools says the government needs to take over the Southern Swimming Pool or it will go insolvent.
Following a review of the Castletown pool, KK&P found that the lack of investment in the pool ‘equates to a winding down of the facility and government making a conscious decision not to invest into it’.
Highlighting a lack of oversight by central government, the report said that the current board was split in relation to its support for the proposed pool at King William’s College, KK&P said that members ‘may not have realised that their role on the board is to support the best interests of the Southern Pool; not to represent the views of their local authority’.
It added: ‘The main financial challenge for the pool is that it will become insolvent by the end of the financial year. The additional cost of utilities only adds to this challenge.’
Looking at the island’s other regional pools, the report finds that the north and southern pools received about 70% of their income from the government subvention and local authority grant.
It added: ‘No pool generates sufficient income from customers to cover their expenditure costs; with the northern and southern pools at less than 50%.
‘No pool generates sufficient income from customers to cover their staff costs; with the western pool the best performing as a result of the income generated from the cafe.’
The report concluded that the governance and management of the regional pools is ‘inadequate and does not deliver against Our Island Plan’s health and wellbeing objectives’.
January will also see Education, Sport and Culture Minister Julie Edge ask Tynwald to back a piece of work to cost a new long term strategic plan which would transfer the regional pools to her department and, in doing so, develop regional sports hubs as part of a newly branded offer and report back at the October 2023 sitting of Tynwald.