Isle of Wight sea pool idea gets grant boost for feasibility study

Swim The Wight CIC, in collaboration with the University of Southampton Centre for the South, has been awarded almost £6,000. 

The money will be used by a team of academics to take the results of its recent IOW Sea Pool Survey further by undertaking more detailed analysis of the data, carrying out some public events and using the results to create a policy document that supports the pool’s feasibility study report.

The money came from the Centre for the South’s New Things Fund.

A report will be delivered to the Isle of Wight Council next year.

The survey was carried out over the summer and achieved almost 1,200 responses from Island residents and visitors, providing insight into people’s sea swimming behaviour.

From the initial analysis more than 88 per cent of respondents said they enjoyed swimming in the sea, with 16 per cent of those sea swimming at least once a week.

The current barriers to sea swimming include concerns about pollution (75 per cent), safety, including risks of deep water, currents and tide (54 per cent) and water temperature (37 per cent).

Of the respondents, 85 per cent said they would use an accessible sea pool, 11 per cent thought they might use one and four per cent said they wouldn’t use a sea pool. 

Sue Barker, Swim The Wight’s sea pool lead, said: “We are delighted that this project has been seen by The New Things Fund to be of real value.

“The momentum and support we are gaining for a tidal sea pool is growing daily and we believe strongly that a pool in Yaverland will deliver positive benefits to our whole community.”

It is planned that the first stage of the study will be completed in the first half of next year.

Further funding is needed to complete the study and Swim The Wight is seeking financial sponsorship, goods in kind and people prepared to give their time and skills.

Isle of Wight County Press | News