In a recent development, Bradford Council has embraced an infusion of nearly £14.5 million earmarked for Bingley Pool, courtesy of the Government’s Levelling Up programme. However, the council is set to engage in discussions with the government to ascertain the impact of this windfall on its planned financial recovery strategy.

Originally inaugurated in 1927, Bingley Pool has grappled with closure since 2020 due to structural issues, although the facility has continued to function solely as a gym during this period.

In 2022, Bradford Council sought financial assistance from the Levelling Up fund to revamp leisure facilities in the Bingley region, including addressing concerns at Bingley Pool. Regrettably, the bid did not secure success at the time.

The council has faced financial challenges in recent years, primarily stemming from inflationary pressures and a substantial surge in demand for children’s and adult social care.

News arrived last week that the government has allocated £220 million in Exceptional Financial Support to the Council. Following this development, the Council is set to conduct a comprehensive review of all capital spending projects, aligning with its commitment to restoring financial sustainability and providing reassurance to the government.

Simultaneously, the Council is presently executing a sports review of all its sporting facilities, aiming to achieve savings of £60,000 in the fiscal year 2024/25, with this figure rising to £1,250,000 in the subsequent financial year. Such significant reductions may inevitably impact the overall number of sports facilities managed by the council.

Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw said: “Naturally we welcome any funding that comes into the district, and it is good to receive confirmation that the Levelling Up Fund bid we put in for Bingley was clearly a strong bid.

“Of course, this sudden announcement comes just as we are in the middle of a budget process that proposes to cut £1.2m from our pool budget. We are also undertaking a review of our entire capital programme and instigating an asset disposal programme.

“So, while we’re excited about the opportunity of using this money to invest in Bingley, we will clearly need to discuss the details of this with the Government.”