THE operator of a Borders swimming pool which saw its electricity bill rise by £32,000 in just a year is seeking funding support to safeguard its future.

With spiralling energy costs, Jedburgh Leisure Facilities Trust, which runs the town’s Laidlaw Memorial Pool (LMP), is facing financial challenges.

Those challenges are made more difficult as swimming pools consume significantly more energy than most other types of building.

When members of Jedburgh Common Good Fund sub-committee meet on Monday (January 30), they will be asked to agree £30,000 in financial support to help the facility to recover.

Members will be told of the actions the leisure trust has taken to ensure the future of a “major asset of the town”, including increasing usage prices by 10 per cent and launching a public appeal for donations.

Meanwhile, members of Scottish Borders Council will meet on Thursday (January 26) to be recommended to provide a one-off financial support package to the trust of £127,000 from the authority’s recovery fund.

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The funding would be used to introduce a series of energy-saving measures to cut ongoing costs.

These would include installation of ducting and automatic shutters to direct heat only to where it is needed, a new insulated hot water tank to conserve energy and the installation of solar panels on the roof.

In support of next week’s funding bid, a spokesperson for Jedburgh Leisure Facilities Trust said: “The funding will enable LMP to fully recover from the losses caused by COVID lockdowns and restrictions.

“Although we received support from the government and SBC, we still had considerable wages costs and fixed costs such as insurance and pool costs to maintain the structure and the pool.

“COVID recovery grants finished in August 2021 but we continued to have restrictions until April 2022, thus limiting the number of people allowed to use the facility.

“In the interests of peoples’ health and well-being we opened as soon as permitted. Our major problem now is our electricity bill has increased from £18,000 to £50,000 a year.”