A CAMPAIGN to encourage more 14- 25-year-olds to get involved in sport is being mounted by Ryedale District Council, and spending nearly £1 million on its two swimming pools could be a key part.

The council plans to spend £294,000 at the Ryedale Pool complex in Pickering to replace boilers and solar thermal systems, with a further £205,000 needed over the next decade. Spending to the tune of £470,000 will be needed over the same period at the Derwent Pool, Phil Long, the council’s head of environment, told the commissioning board last week.

A survey carried out by the council shows that 26 per cent of those who responded use the pools at least once a month, 13 per cent weekly, and 51 per cent thought the quality of the facilities was good.

However, Mr Long reported that the demand for swimming has declined in the last two years, especially at Derwent Pool.

The council had spent £178,530 at the Derwent Pool in the last five years and £652,465 at the Ryedale Pool, carrying out major refurbishment and adding new equipment.

However, Mr Long added that funding is so far unavailable for the longterm investment in the pools.

• RYEDALE Pool is the latest facility in the district to undergo an environmental facelift with new energyefficient measures including a gasfired combined heat and power unit, air source heat pumps and an array of solar thermal panels, which will provide renewable, low-carbon energy to heat the pool and provide hot water for showers.

As part of the works, significant adaptations are to be made to the air-handling system, which will also reduce energy use.

Once works are complete, the £300,000 package of proposals are forecast to save more than 100 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Work started last Monday and is set to last for 12 weeks, including a two-week shutdown from March 5 to 19.