With an expected large hike in our Council Tax, what future operation is currently being reviewed for 2023 at the National Lido of Wales about running costs?

AberdareOnline Freedom of Information request for National Lido of Wales.

With the Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council providing information on energy costs to Anthony Lewis a reporter for Nation Cymru Cllr Morgan said they’re looking at a 355% increase in their gas costs next year and a well over 100% increase in energy costs. Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is now facing a budget gap of just over £38m with a 6.6% increase in funding from Welsh Government planned for next year.


We are all feeling the inflated cost of our energy whether it be Gas or electricity and the fuel in the car, but is Rhondda Cynon Taf Council truly feeling the pinch at the moment? With nearly £208 million in its bank account in 2020/21, Rhondda Cynon Taf had more useable reserves than five Welsh councils combined.


In October AberdareOnline enquired about the running cost of what the council likes to call the National Lido of Wales as we are all feeling the inflated cost of our energy I was surprised to find all the funding for the running cost of the National Lido of Wales comes from our Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, and not supported by the Welsh Government in any form provided by feedback from the council.


We refer to your Freedom of Information Request in respect of the National Lido of Wales.


The Council’s response is set out below:


1       The National Lido of Wales within Rhondda Cynon Taf has three swimming pools; please can you provide the amount of funding RCTC provides to heat the three pools for the year 2021?




2       What was the total cost of funding provided by RCTC for The National Lido of Wales for the year 2021?




3       Has The National Lido of Wales received additional funding from sources other than from RCTC for the year 2021 if The National Lido of Wales has received funding from other resources please can you supply a list of who subscribes?


No additional funding sources.


4       The following events held at The National Lido of Wales were publicised on your website, please can you provide the individual cost of heating the three pools for (A) the Boxing Day Swimming section and (B) the New Year Day section? And the total cost of opening The National Lido of Wales for each individual day?


Heating Costs – It is impossible to provide exact figures as there are many variable factors such as the external air temperatures specifically during period of heating the pool for the events and likewise the actual costs of utilities at that time etc, however costs are projected on 8 days in total of heating required for the Christmas events to enable the pool to achieve the operational temperatures required, and on that basis utility costs are projected at £1242.31 per event


Total cost per event £178 =  (£3225 staffing + £1242 Utilities + £211 Other/Chemicals/cleaning – less £4500 income)   


5       The 2021 season was an incredible success for the Lido, with over 98,500 visitors. What profit was made from The National Lido of Wales for the RCT Council for the year 2021?


The National Lido is a subsidised facility which does not make a profit. In 2022 it has catered for over 112,000 users, including providing free access to 31,545 children under 16yrs.


6       With rising costs in inflation and the escalating cost of energy the predicted shortfall of funding by the leader of the council, what will the authority do to cut down the cost of running The National Lido of Wales will there be (A) Boxing Day Swimming section (B) New Year Day section this year or keep open The National Lido of Wales with unheated pools?


The Council are committed to providing the Christmas and New year’s day swims for 2022 as previously advertised and as indicated above, the subsidy for these specific special events amount to circa £178 per day.


However, in light of the global costs effecting utilities, all aspects of the future operation are currently being reviewed in respect of the 2023 operations, and proposals will be made in due course and considered by the Council’s Senior Management Team, following which the outcomes will be published.

Photograph by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council 

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