Halton has received £146,799 from the Government’s swimming pool support fund to help with running costs at three of the borough's pools.

More than 100 local authorities across England have been awarded a share of the £20m fund to help them keep public pools open in the face of financial pressures.

Halton’s award will support Kingsway Leisure Centre, Brookvale Recreation Centre and Beechwood Community Centre with increased cost pressures, associated with recent rises in energy and operating costs.

Operating costs, including heating, alongside general inflationary pressures have increased over recent months, with local authorities facing greater financial challenges as a result.

Cllr Paul Nolan, the council's executive board member for leisure, said: "It's really good news that the council has been awarded this funding. It will help ease the current pressures associated with rising energy costs for these highly valued centres that play a vital role in supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of many of our residents."

The Swimming Pool Support Fund was announced at the March Budget to support facilities with swimming pools.

A spokesperson added: "The fund means that 196 leisure centres and swimming pools in 103 local authorities will benefit from funding supporting over 23 million swims a year collectively, meaning millions of people across the country will have the chance to stay fit and healthy a, contributing to the Government’s aim to cut obesity rates and get millions more people active."

Swim England’s latest Value of Swimming report showed how swimming helps generate social benefits, such as improved communities, skills and education worth £2.4 billion a year.

Sports Minister Stuart Andrew said: "Leisure centres and pools are  vital for millions of people to stay fit and healthy, and we know that many public swimming pools are experiencing greater pressure due to increased operating costs. "We have heard their concerns and have stepped in to help them make ends meet."