Bassetlaw's swimming ‘deserts’ revealed in pool ‘postcode lottery’

Bassetlaw’s swimming ‘deserts’ have been revealed after Team GB Olympics star Duncan Scott slammed pool closures.

By Kate Mason
Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 8:52 am

In Bassetlaw there are three public swimming pool sites – none of which have diving facilities. There are no Olympic size pools in Bassetlaw or in the entire East Midlands region.

And some parts of England have 10 times less public swimming space than others, exclusive analysis by NationalWorld 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 three pools in Bassetlaw are Worksop Leisure Centre, Retford Leisure Centre and Bircotes Leisure Centre.

Great Britain Diving Federation president Jim McNally said the Government’s policy of providing sport for all was “in tatters” and warned access to diving pools had become a “postcode lottery”.

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

The East Midlands has less than half the public pool space found in the South East. The difference is equivalent to 45 Olympic swimming pools.

Great Britain Diving Federation president Jim McNally

According to the analysis of Sport England data East Midlands only have two public diving pools each.

Swim England said it predicted the nation would lose 40 per cent of its existing pools by the end of the decade, “potentially shutting millions out of the activities they love”.

The Government said its £100 million National Leisure Centre Recovery Fund had “secured the survival and reopening of more than 1,100 swimming pools all over the country”.

A spokesperson from Swim England said: “For everyone to be able to enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of swimming, it is absolutely vital that there are appropriate facilities in the right locations.

“Swim England’s 2019 Value of Swimming report forecast that the number of pools in England is set to decline by 40 per cent by the end of the decade, potentially shutting millions out of the activities they love.

“The coronavirus pandemic has only exacerbated the issue and it’s clear that local authorities need both short and long-term funding for facilities.”