Cardigan Swimming Pool has been thrown a lifeline – but it depends on the community coming together to prevent it from going under.

The pool has secured a vital £233k grant from the Sports Council of Wales, but can only draw it down if £23k is raised from the community.

The grant would transform the heating system, insulate the toddler pool and provide pool covers, all of this will radically reduce energy bills and make the pool far more environmentally friendly.

The pool, which has been standing proud since it opened its doors to the public in 1977, commemorating both World War I and II, is a registered charity – and receives no outside funding.

But Friends of Cardigan Swimming Pool have regrouped and teamed up with trustees to find ways of raising the cash to make it a self-sufficient community hub.

A Go Fund Me Page has raised over £5,200, along with the offer of gifts of materials, including the poolside tiles, and labour from local tradespeople.

Friends member Steve Rice said: “The Friends of Cardigan Swimming Pool are reaching out to the residents of Cardigan and surrounding areas to not only help raise the £23,000, but also to help make the pool building a community hub, looking after the needs of the community for years to come.

“We want to unite the community to ensure that the amenities it offers remain available and are fully utilised.

"Having such facilities in our town, will keep the town alive and thriving. 

"It will benefit everybody in the area, including local businesses who could see an upturn in footfall, as shopping local is also important to keeping our town thriving."

Friends member Rose Barter added: "The best way to raise funds is to make the pool pay for itself.

"Several groups talked about their regret at having to move from Cardigan pool to other venues because the unreliable heating system meant too many cancelled classes, or club sessions.

"Once the match funding is secure, we can get the new heating system in and these clubs and groups can and will return, which will boost the income of the pool.

"We can also have a drive to increase the membership, which is currently at 60 members for the pool and 25 for the gym."

Tivyside Advertiser: Over 50 people attended the Public Meeting, called by the Friends of Cardigan Swimming Pool, including MP Ben Lake.Over 50 people attended the Public Meeting, called by the Friends of Cardigan Swimming Pool, including MP Ben Lake. (Image: Friends of Cardigan Swimming Pool)


A public meeting was called a short notice by the Friends of Cardigan Swimming Pool and attended by 50 people on 23 February, including Ceredigion MP Ben Lake.

It was also attended by Cardigan mayor Cllr Trystan Phillips, who chaired the meeting, deputy mayor Sian Maehrlein and fellow town and county councillors Elaine Evans, David Maehrlein, Clive Davis, Phillipa Noble, Catrin Miles and Amanda Edwards.

Steve Rice reported that costs have rocketed and the Council grant, which comes twice, in April and October, amounts to a total of £21,000.

This is made up of £11,000 operational costs, £2,100 for providing free swimming sessions for the young and the elderly and £7,800 for school swimming lessons.

The pool currently brings in approximately £8,000 a month, but the outgoings have risen to £12,500 a month. So the shortfall each month is approximately £4,500.

If the pool were a business it would be declared untenable. However the grant covers approximately £3,500 of this shortfall.

Currently this deficit has grown to the point where the pool has used up the grant money which should have lasted until April and has no funds.

In the meantime, a publicity campaign to boost take-up of seven adult fitness sessions (including Aquafit) has already seen great results.

And there are also plans to relaunch the 100 Club, host a charity swimathon, car wash, and events at Barley Saturday and Theatr Mwldan, as well as involving local businesses and applying for grants from funding bodies.

"The obvious way to approach this is to help the pool is to make a Business Plan, so ensuring that the facility is used to its full extent and can actually turn a profit," said Mr Rice.

"We see no reason why this should not be possible. In the meantime, it will need some serious financial help."

Anyone with fundraising ideas, or wishing to donate or organise an event to help, can contact the Friends of Cardigan Swimming Pool at or ring Steve Rice 07528 839892 or Rose Barter 07549 700936,

Match funding donations for the Sports Wales Grant can be made at