KEIGHLEY Leisure Centre has been awarded over £300,000 to secure the future of its pool.

The facility, in Hard Ings Road, has been granted £302,822 by Sport England as part of a national scheme.

Another swimming pool in the Bradford district, at Ilkley, has also benefited from the fund. It has received £171,644.

The cash is from Sport England's Swimming Pool Support Fund.

Organisation bosses say the programme's first phase of funding, worth a total of £20 million, is to "support facilities with swimming pools with increased cost pressures, leaving them vulnerable to closure or significant service reduction".

Sport England adds that a second phase – worth £40 million nationally – to improve the energy efficiency of public facilities with pools, will be announced early next year.

"The funding will help at a time when pools face a significant threat to their survival," said a spokesperson.

Bradford Council has confirmed that it will be submitting bids for a share of funding in the second stage.

Councillor Simon Cunningham, the council’s assistant executive member for culture, says: "Leisure centres and swimming pools are a vital resource for the wellbeing of our communities.

"They are a place where people can go to focus on their health and fitness, where children can learn to swim and families can spend quality time together.

"Ilkley Swimming Pool and Keighley Leisure Centre are both fantastic facilities and I am delighted that Sport England has granted funding to support the running of them.

"We are currently in the process of applying for additional funding from phase two of the Swimming Pool Support Fund and if successful, additional facilities across the district will receive similar support."

Lisa Dodd-Mayne, Sport England’s director of place, says: "We know just how vital swimming pools and leisure centres are to our nation’s activity levels, which is why Sport England is proud to have played a central role in the delivery of this fund.

"Many pools have faced a real and significant threat to their survival this year, as local authorities and operators battle the challenge of increased energy and maintenance costs, weakened reserves and difficulties with retaining staff.

"This funding announcement is an important moment in time, but it is by no means the end of the work facing us or the support available as we continue to work with our partners to ensure the long-term viability of these vital community resources."