London Region, in partnership with the Swim England Facilities Team, have completed an overview of the current aquatic facilities within the capital.

 THE CASE FOR MORE POOLS                                                                           

There is a significant gap in supply as Swim England analysis shows Greater London needs at least

  • one more 50 metre Regional competition pool with a swim down pool and spectator seating for 450 spectators. In addition to staging swimming competitions, these pools will be capable of supporting regional water polo competitions;
  • more 25-metre by 8-lane County competition swimming pools with swim down pool;
  • more 25-metre by 6-lane District competition swimming pools with a learner pool; and
  • more 10-metre diving facilities with synchronised boards and dry-dive training facilities; additionally capable of providing synchronised swimming to Regional competition level.


50m pools with movable floors and two movable bulkheads can be configured in different ways to suit the needs of a particular activity.  For example, the pool can be set up as

  • a 50m pool for lane swimming, club training sessions, or competitions;
  • two 25m pools for lane swimming and club training sessions;
  • two 25m competition pools –
    • there are some competitions that attract large numbers of competitors and need two pools running simultaneously,
  • three pools – e.g.
    • one with shallow water for lessons, one 25m pool for lane swimming and club training, one pool for recreational swimmers,
    • two with shallow water for lessons, one 25m pool for lane swimming and club training.

This will enable the facility to host more activities (separately or simultaneously) and potentially increase the number of customers.   Being able to host both 25m (short course) and 50m (long course) competitions will enable the facility to attract more competitions and have a positive impact on the local economy.


There are 113 existing ASA affiliated swimming clubs in the London with over 3,500 swimming members and at least 39 of these swimming clubs would look to a regional 50-metre swimming pool in a South-West location as their main long-course competition venue.


Each year, there is an average of 200 swimming meets that are licenced for inclusion in the national swimming rankings and further 250 other events that take place annually in the London Region. This is the 5th highest of the eight Swim England regions and reflects the region’s geographical size.  However, it does not reflect the size of the Region’s population which is the second highest of the English Regions and suggests an untapped market

More well-placed regional competition facilities in the London Region will increase the number of competitions which, in turn, will:

  • enable more people to compete;
  • enable more people to swim regularly by making more water time available that is within acceptable travel time and distance; and
  • have a significant economic benefit to the local community particularly when the facility hosts an international, national or regional competition.

More people swimming – whether recreationally or competitively – will have a positive impact on the population’s health https://www.swimming.org/swimengland/new-report-shows-health-benefits-swimming/

A study has also shown that competitive swimming has a positive impact on academic success. https://www.swimming.org/swimengland/new-report-shows-competitive-swimmers-can-cleverer/


Whilst they are unable to provide financial support, Swim England and London Swimming want to work with councils and partners to deliver the competition facilities needed to meet the demand for the community and club swimming.  They will be able to explain the minimum technical and non-technical requirements of the different facilities, target audiences and competitions.  


Sport England has published advice on affordable 50m and 25m pools at

London Needs More Swimming Pools