A disused swimming pool in Fazakerley has been brought back into use by the local community and for maritime training purposes thanks to £130k of funding from Livv Investment, part of Livv Housing Group.
The news comes at a time when there is real concern about the shortage of community swimming pools in the UK, with Swim England having warned that almost 2,000 pools could be lost forever by the end of the decade.
The pool is adjacent to the Clock Tower development which is the home of Seascope Maritime Training, a maritime training provider that develops and delivers Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) for Seafarers, and MCA (Maritime and Coastguard Agency) training courses.
Seascope formed a unique partnership with Fazakerley Community Federation with the aim of restoring the pool, which had been disused since 2010. They set up a new social enterprise, STEPZ (Strategy and Training to Eradicate all Poverty to Zero) CIC, to bring it back into use for maritime training and for the local community.
Livv Investment provided a loan of £115,000 along with a grant of £15,000 to refurbish the swimming pool to bring it back into use. This enabled Seascope to develop new training courses for the Global Wind Organisation (GWO) Green Energy sector, while the refurbished swimming pool is now also available to schools, local swimming clubs and members of the community, when not being used for training.
The pool has also allowed Seascope to offer STCW Basic Safety Training to job seekers and those in receipt of Universal Credit to enable them to apply for employment in the sector. They are also running a pilot ‘Future Skills’ project in conjunction with Livv Housing Group to provide funded maritime training for customers to open up employment prospects in the maritime sector.
Howard Roberts, Executive Director, Finance and Performance at Livv Housing Group, said: “Swimming pools are an important hub for community life, helping people of all ages lead healthier, happier lives but we are seeing too many fall into disrepair and not be replaced.
“We are delighted to have been able to contribute towards reopening this pool with Seascope which is not only enabling them to expand their important training courses and offer support for job seekers but also brings it back into community use after more than ten years.”
Tom Hincks, Business Development Manager at Seascope Maritime Training, said: “Opening up the swimming pool has made a huge difference to the training course we can offer here and we are thrilled that it can also operate as a place for the local community to get together, have fun and stay healthy.”