Each year, we have a community fund of approximately £300,000 available to award to community projects, made possible through the Landfill Communities Fund. Grants are usually available for amounts between £5,000 and £25,000 and are awarded via four annual funding rounds. More than £3.8m has been awarded through the fund to date, securing hundreds of community projects for the county.

Topsham’s outdoor swimming pool, which has been open for nearly forty years, had seen age begin to take its toll. They needed a new roof; renewable energy to reduce reliance on gas; the underground pipes were also leaking and the pool was losing water. Without essential maintenance, specifically the work to replace the leaky pipes, the pool may not have been able to open for the 2017 season. The community pool is a charity and the only source of income is entrance charges. A summer of bad weather can hit hard and funding large scale repairs like these is always difficult.

Coastal provided an initial grant of £25,000 to Topsham Swimming Pool Association (TSPA) in order to repair and resurface the flat roof and install brand new, state-of-the-art solar panels. These were supplied by local company, Heatology, and they supplement the work of the gas boilers to heat the pool water. The solar heating will have a big impact. With a long, sunny summer they should significantly reducing a large energy bill and the pool’s carbon footprint.

The second project, to replace the leaking pipes, was set to cost just over £23,000. A substantial amount of money had already been spent on maintenance and repairs, which proved fruitless, so a complete replacement was necessary. Coastal awarded a further £20,000 from the Coastal Recycling Community Fund towards this project. Local pool supplier Isca Pools laid new plastic pipes, replaced the skimmers, installed new inlet values and installed a new UV water purifying system to bring the complex up to date.

The brand new pipework means the pool can now serve the local community for a further 40 years. The pool successfully reopened for the season on Saturday 8 April in glorious sunshine. Everything is working perfectly with no leaks and beautifully heated, crystal clear water. On opening day, home made cakes and drinks were sold to swimmers and the local community to celebrate. The pool is once again providing a chance to exercise in the centre of town and highlights its importance to the local community.

The pool will be open every day now until the middle of September.

What did Topsham Swimming Pool Association think of the results?

We can’t thank Coastal enough for their extremely generous grants; these have ensured our community outdoor pool will be here for the next generation, providing a place to meet, a chance to exercise and lots of fun at the heart of our town.

Andrea Veale, Secretary, Topsham Swimming Pool Association