Charity Registration No: 1171790 VAT reg no: 333538701 01729 823626 Kendal Road Giggleswick Settle North Yorkshire BD24 0BU

News & Events

Recent News

20 Nov 2023

Settle Swimming Pool is facing a major financial crisis after it was denied funding from the £20 million the government set aside to help public swimming pools across England cope with what it called ‘challenging financial pressures’.

Whilst 196 pools received grants of as much as £300,000 in some cases, none of the 18 pools in North Yorkshire received any contribution.

In the absence of this public funding, Settle pool is now having to take drastic measures in order to keep afloat.

Full details of all new prices will be published on our website shortly. In a move to help regular users, a long term membership scheme is being introduced. This will give reduced rates for both swimming and fitspace sessions and a combination of both.

Trustees have also agreed to take urgent action to reduce staffing costs and other expenditure.

In a further move pool users and supporters are being asked to make regular individual donations to help ensure the pool can continue to function.

Longer term measures are also under consideration.

One of the reasons that Settle pool has, to date, coped better than some others has been the income from the charity shop, that has generated around £70,000 a year since it opened in 2017. But this is no longer adequate to cope with rising costs, most significantly a gas bill that has gone up from just over £1,000 a month to around £7,000. In an effort to raise income from this source the trustees are seeking further volunteers to help staff a second ‘pop-up ‘ shop that recently opened in the centre of Settle. As shop organiser Anne Galloway, who was recently named North Yorkshire volunteer of the year said: “We are getting plenty of donations, including some high value items, but we need more volunteers to help with sales, both on line and through our shops.”
Behind all these action there is frustration with the lack of support from government and Sport England.

As pool treasurer Rosie Sanderson explained to the November meeting of the trustees, “When the pool was facing financial difficulties a few years ago it was Sport England that told us the only way to go was to undertake a major expansion, including a new dry area. We followed their advice and have coped with unforeseen challenges as Covid and storm damage leading to temporary closure, but now when we need urgently help we are denied support.”

Settle will be seeking an explanation from Sport England about why they were denied aid from the Swimming Pool Support Fund despite appearing to meet the three criteria set out in the press release announcing the grants from the scheme.

Sport England said pools and leisure centres were selected “based on their risk of closure, the proximity to other swimming pools providing public swimming, and the level of demand for the facility.”

Settle Pool chair Colin Coleman said: “There is only one other public pool within twenty miles of Settle. We offer a wide range of sessions for all ages as well as public swimming and school swimming and it is now clear that without urgent action there is a real danger that the pool will have to close. It makes no sense for us to be denied funding when pools closer to other facilities, offering fewer services and operating in less challenging environments have been given substantial amounts of public funding. We want to know why.”

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15 Nov 2023

Settle Pool is now connected to the world’s fastest rural broadband.

Customers can get free wi-fi access simply by scanning the QR code on the noticeboard at the pool café or by logging on to the network using the password ‘swimming’.

It's clear from the photo how happy our Centre Manager Tash Ward is with the new internet connection.

The link to Broadband for Rural Networks - B4RN - was made in mid-November when a fibre optic cable was laid under the fields between the pool and the nearby hamlet of Stackhouse - the nearest  point where B4RN was already installed.

Pool staff are now using B4RN for all back office work. This includes monitoring progress on children's swim lessons, processing customer accounts and taking payments, and managing content for our social media feeds, booking system and website.

B4RN - pronounced barn - is a community benefit society, established in 2011 to bring world-leading full fibre broadband speeds to underserved rural areas . It has won numerous awards and featured in media reports highlighting the fact that remote rural areas served by B4RN can match broadband speeds normally only found in places like the financial districts of big cities. It began in North  East Lancashire is now spreading into the Yorkshire Dales and Cumbria.

You can read more about B4RN on

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Anne is North Yorkshire volunteer of the year
30 Oct 2023

Settle Pool trustee Anne Galloway has been named North Yorkshire volunteer of the year.

Anne received her award from North Yorkshire council chair Coun. David Ireton, at a ceremony in Harrogate, organised by the council, to recognise the contribution that the community organisations and volunteers make to life across the county.

Alongside the award the pool will receive a £1,000 cash donation.

A video made by the council’s communications team highlights Anne’s role as the inspiration behind the pool charity shop.

The shop has played a crucial role in the transformation of Settle pool at a time when many other public swimming pools across the country have been forced to close as a result of soaring costs and reduced public funding.

It was seven years ago on a visit to Kirkcudbright in Scotland that Anne saw how the local community swimming pool was able to finance itself by running a charity shop. She persuaded Settle pool supporters to follow this example and after a great deal of work behind the scenes the pool shop opened in May 2017.
Since then it has generated a steady flow of income for the pool. This has made possible the major redevelopment work completed just over a year ago and has gone some way towards off-setting soaring energy bills. Recently a second pop up shop has opened to sell the larger and more expensive items that have been given by generous local supporters.

Anne has been a pool trustee since 2013. In addition to her role in developing the charity shop and now the new pop up shop, she leads the trustee’s group on staff development. Over the past year she has devoted a great deal of time to helping see through the staff changes resulting from the expansion of the pool to include the new dry space area, known as fitSpace, and the creation of enhanced catering facilities.

Anne said: “Whilst I am delighted to receive this award, all the work that I have put in would have meant nothing without the efforts of our other trustees, volunteers and the pool staff. The continuing success of Settle pool is based around the commitment shown by the whole community and not least those who donate and buy from our charity shops. The award really belongs to all of them.”

Colin Coleman chair of the pool trustees said: “Anne is 100 per cent committed to the pool. I am sure she spends more time here and at the charity shop than she does at home. She richly deserves the accolade of North Yorkshire volunteer of the year.”

The full story about all awards from North Yorkshire Council is here:,1KLEK,4ZBY4A,7CT9R,1

Our local newspaper the Craven Herald has the story too here

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Look what’s just popped up in the centre of Settle
08 Oct 2023

The pool now has a new ‘pop-up’ shop. You’ll find it next to the Royal Oak in the narrow section of the road through the centre of Settle.

It is currently open 10am to 2pm on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays but hours might be extended as time goes by.

The new shop sells larger and more expensive items that cannot be accommodated in the existing premises in Duke Street.  Previously these donations would have been sold online, but the new premises mean that they can now be offered to our supporters who prefer to shop in person.

To date the shop has done a roaring trade, generating many more bargains for shoppers and much needed income for the pool at a time when we are continuing to face sky high energy bills..

It also means that we now have more space in the two containers that receive donations in the pool car park on Tuesday and Friday mornings (9.30am- 12.30pm).

The success of the shop is of course entirely dependent on generous donations by our supporters and the dedicated team of volunteers who sort items and staff both our shops.

The full address is 1 Church Street, Settle, NorthYorkshire BD24 9JD
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Halloween Kids Disco
03 Oct 2023

We are having an Halloween Kids Disco at the Pool Friday 27th of October!!

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08 Aug 2023

Tash Ward has been appointed as Centre Manager at Settle Area Swimming Pool.

This new role brings together responsibility for the whole building including both the pool itself and the new fitSpace area which was created following last year’s major re-development.

Tash has been acting as interim manager since May. She joined the pool team in August last year, initially in the role of business development manager.

The creation of the new post is part of wider changes to the staffing structure to reflect the major  developments at the pool and the new opportunities for use of the facilities.

Formerly club manager of Anytime Fitness in Ilkley, Tash ( 30) has a sports management degree from Leeds Beckett University. She is also a qualified fitness instructor and personal trainer.

Growing up in Thailand and going to an International School, Tash was involved in a variety of sports from an early age.  She was particularly attracted to karate, becoming a black belt and world champion at the age of 14.

In September 2020 Tash and her partner moved to Settle. They have a baby boy now aged 18 months.

Tash said: “Over the past year I have come to appreciate just how much the people of this area love their pool. It is support given by the staff, the customers, the trustees and the multitude of volunteers who work tirelessly to raise funds that keeps the pool going.

“We now have great facilities. The challenge is to make the best use of them for the benefit of the whole community. We are making a great start this summer with our intensive swimming classes. And I am delighted to see the building is being used by people of all ages and abilities. But there is more that needs to be done to reach out to the whole community and to make sure that people know there is something for everyone here at Settle pool.”

To contact Tash, email

This inspiring story is reported in the Craven Herald here 

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Stingrays star at pool AGM
25 Jul 2023

The Settle Stingrays swimming club were the star attraction at the pool AGM held on July 20.

Whilst club members took part in one of their regular training sessions in the pool, Stingrays chair Karen Shuttleworth told those attending the AGM in the adjacent fitSpace area of the  importance of the training facilities in preparing the Stingrays for club competitions.

She said the club was delighted to be back at the pool after a long absence caused by last year’s redevelopment work. The return renewed the historic link between the pool and the club.  The Stingrays aim was to give young swimmers the opportunity to develop their skills to the point where they could take part in swimming competitions against other clubs across the country.

Tashina Ward, the interim pool manager,  was the other main speaker at the AGM. She spoke of the new facilities available in the fitSpace area. These  range from spin classes, using static cycles, to children’s play sessions with a range of soft play equipment.

In the formal part of the meeting Colin Coleman was re-elected as chair of trustees.  Ian Orton is to continue as secretary and Rosie Sanderson as treasurer.

Colin said that this was the first time that it had been possible to hold the AGM at the pool, thanks to the major development that had been completed last year. Rosie spoke of the financial pressures on the pool resulting from increasing energy costs and rising insurance premiums. This had necessitated the price increases that had to be introduced from May. On the positive side the new solar panels were helping keep costs down and, most crucially the income from the charity shop made a major contribution to keeping the pool afloat. Thanks were due to all the volunteers who put in so much time to supporting the pool.

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Summer Intensive Swimming Lessons
18 Jul 2023

We are excited to announce that we will be running a 4-week Summer Intensive Swim Course!

The group courses will be running each week from Monday 31st July to Wednesday 23rd August. The courses will be over 3 days, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of the same week. Each class will be 25 minutes long.  The first course on each day starting from 09:00 and the last course starting at 11:00. 

Places will be given on a first come first serve basis.

The cost will be £21 for the 3-day course each week.

Classes are suitable for children aged 4-16 years and all abilities. Once you have booked a place, a swimming teacher will give you a call to assess your child to place them into a suitable stage.

There is also intensive private 1-1 and 2-1 courses of 3 lesson over a 3 week period on a Wednesday and a Thursday on the weeks of the 2nd August, 16th August and the 23rd August,

On Wednesdays from the first class at 1:30 and the last class at 14:30 and on Thursdays with the first class starting at 15:00 and the last class at 20:00. Each of these classes will be 25 minutes long and once a week for these 3 weeks.

The cost for 1-1 courses will be £66 for three lessons over the three weeks. For 2-1 courses will be £82.50 for three lessons over the three weeks.

These classes will be suitable for all ages. All classes will be planned and delivered by our Swim England qualified and experienced teachers. Classes are aimed to be fun and to provide the necessary water confidence, water skills and improve their stroke technique.

Courses are non-refundable and non-transferable, and payment is by direct debit before the course starts. Links for payment will be in your booking confirmation.

Certificates will be provided on completion of the course.

 If you are interested in signing up. Please e-mail Hannah at: The closing date for applications to the course is the 30th of July 2023.

 We look forward to seeing you.

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04 Jul 2023

Friends and supporters of Settle Area Swimming Pool are invited to an open evening and AGM to be held at the pool on Thursday 20 July from 7pm - 9pm.

This will be our first annual meeting since the re-opening of the building last autumn following the major redevelopment work. To celebrate the occasion the Settle Stingrays Swimming Club will demonstrate their skills and there will be a display of the new features offered in our fitSpace Area. Refreshments will be provided.

If you wish to attend please rsvp to

For copies of the AGM documents please contact Ian Orton at

See the full story in the Craven Herald here

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Dragon Boat fundraiser declared a huge success!
08 Jun 2023

THE fifth annual Dragon Boat Race organised by Skipton Rotary took place at The Coniston Hotel Country Estate and Spa, Coniston Cold recently - and it was bigger and better than ever.

Some 20 teams from the local community took part, each raising funds for their own particular charities as diverse as mental health, cancer research, hospices, animal charities and the Settle area swimming pool.

The photo above shows our very own Settle Serpents representing Settle Area Swimming Pool, and buoyed with excitement.

Read the full Craven Herald article here

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Settle Serpents miss out by one second
22 May 2023

The Settle Pool Dragon Boat Team narrowly missed out on reaching the final stages of the Skipton Rotary event held at Coniston Hall Lake on Sunday May 14.

Our time of one minute and four seconds was just one second outside the time needed to make the cut but nevertheless the crew, who had just a couple of dry practice sessions in the pool’s FitSpace hall, had a great day out in an excellent setting alongside some dedicated people raising money for worthy charities. And it was good to take part in a different team sport at a well organised event.

Our justgiving page is still open for any supporters wanting to make a late contribution.

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Settle Stingrays are back!
10 May 2023

We are super pleased that our competition training club Settle Stingrays are back! A spokesperson from Stingrays said: 

After nearly 3 years away, with Covid and a huge storm making the pool unsafe. A big re-vamp later and we LOVE it! Thanks Settle Pool for having us. We hope to be training for lots of galas and events with your support.

Photographed here is the Settle Stingrays 'A' Squad. More about the Stingrays club here

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New Swim Prices
03 May 2023

The pool trustees have reluctantly decided to increase swim prices from May 1.

The new cost of an adult swim will be £6.20 and the concession rate for full-time students and over 60s will be £5. 

Full details of all the new session prices   can be found here:

This is the first rise since 2020 and has been made necessary by three big increases in our costs:

1) gas bills have gone up four-fold in recent months from approximately £1,000 a month to £4,000 ( this is even with a big government subsidy due to end this month).

2) there has been a big rise in our insurance premiums

3) many other costs have risen as a result of rocketing inflation.

Public swimming pools across the country are under increasing financial pressure. Here, the trustees are taking a number of other measures to keep costs under control. This article from the Craven Herald gives more details:


Thanks for your continuing support for the pool.

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21 Apr 2023

For the second year running Settle Pool has entered a team in the Skipton Rotary Club dragon boat regatta to be held at the Coniston Hotel lake on Sunday 14 May.

Last year the paddlers made a big contribution to the fund raising for the solar panels that now adorn the pool roof and help to reduce the sizeable heating bill.

This year the aim is to raise funds for a further bank of panels that will help make the pool more energy efficient and greener still. Importantly they will help secure the future of the pool when many other pools across the country have closed in the last year due to the rise in energy and maintenance costs.

The enthusiastic crew members are now in training for the big paddle. Please sponsor them through Justgiving at

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04 Apr 2023

The redevelopment of Settle Area Swimming Pool was recognised in the Craven Legacy Awards presented at the final meeting of the district council before the authority was absorbed into the new North Yorkshire Council.

Pat Taylor, chair of the pool trustees for six years, was one of the people to receive the awards from council chair Simon Myers.  In a letter published by the Craven Herald Pat said:

“I was delighted that our work in transforming Settle Pool was recognised in the CravenLegacy Awards made at the final council meeting on March 30.

“I did initially have some reservations about accepting the award as it was made to me individually, as chair of the pool trustees from 2016 until the end of last year, rather than the pool as an organisation. 

“The redevelopment was never the work of one individual, but a collective effort involving the trustees, staff and the many volunteers who work tirelessly all year round on behalf of the pool. I was however persuaded that if I did not accept the award then there would be no recognition for the pool at this time and that would let down all those who contributed to the redevelopment over many years. So in accepting this award I want to make it very clear that this award is for the whole collective effort that achieved our transformed pool and the creation of the new fitSpace facility.

“I have now stepped down as chair of the trustees, but do want to take this opportunity to wish all the best to everyone involved in the pool.”

The full online story is on the Craven Herald website here 

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18 Mar 2023

They rode around the clock. Marathon cyclists Jo Ward, Anita Eccleston and Kate Dinsdale completed an astonishing 12 hour fund-raising ride on spinbikes at 5pm on Saturday March 18 having started their efforts in the early hours of the morning.

During the event that took place in fitSpace at Settle Pool they raised more than £2,400 in sponsorship to be shared between the pool, which is run as a charity, and the nearby Freda’s nursery.

The three each pedalled the equivalent of more than 300 miles, which as Jo pointed out soon after stepping off the saddle, meant that they had in effect done the Coast to Coast ride one and a half times.
The event was sponsored by Kings Mill Garage and a number of local businesses. A justgiving page, still open, contributed more than half the amount raised.

During their 12 hours in the saddle the three were joined for hour long sessions by family, friends and supporters.

Tash Ward, the pool business development manager, who helped organise the event, said: “The three ladies did really well to keep going the full 12 hours and were in a remarkably good state at the end. We were delighted by the amount of support they got both at the event and across the community. The North Rib rugby club even organised a bucket collection for us at their matches that afternoon.

A Justgiving page for donation is still open at

The Craven Herald have also featured stories about the event - this first one in the build-up:

and a second story celebrating success a week later

Dales Radio interviewed Business Development Manager Tash Ward and added a news story to their website

Listen to Tash talking to Chris Johnson on local radio about the spinathon
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Would you like to be a lifeguard?
09 Mar 2023

As an approved Royal Life Saving Society training centre we have in-house trainers and assessors who, on top of keeping our staff up-to-date with their qualifications, run courses to enable people to gain the qualification to become a lifeguard.

The details of our latest course, which includes the use of a automated external defibrillator, are as follows:

Next course dates: To be confirmed

Course price: £280

Please call the pool for further details/to book a place.

Limited places available and will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis.

All applicants must be aged 16 years and over.

For further information about the course see RLSS website.

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New Year New Inflatable
12 Dec 2022

The excitement is mounting! A giant new inflatable is coming so the massively popular weekend sessions can restart in 2023. 

After a decisive public vote on Facebook, the new equipment was ordered last week and will arrive in the New Year. The inflatable sessions were hugely well attended before lockdown, and are expected to be a big draw once relaunched. Keep an eye out for more announcements so you don't miss your place on Settle's answer to Love Island.

The purchase was subsidised by a grant from North Yorkshire County Council.

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31 Oct 2022

Settle pool was officially re-opened on Saturday October 29th by Julian Smith MP and chair of the pool trustees Pat Taylor. This follows the completion of a year-long redevelopment programme.

School swimming classes will start this week and it is hoped to start taking bookings for public sessions within the next few days.

 Locally born, champion swimmer Ned Sharp completed the three- strong opening team by means of a video message– Ned, who was unable to attend in person, had already tried out the new facilities in a visit to the pool earlier in the month.

The unveiling of the commemorative plaque to mark the re-opening was followed by the cutting of a specially commissioned cake that featured the pool logo. The cake cutting was undertaken by special guest – singer songwriter James Newman, who like Ned Sharp learned to swim at Settle Pool.  James happened to be in Settle for a family visit.

Also present at the opening were pool trustees and staff, together with representatives of Craven District Council, the local town and parish councils who have supported the pool, and representatives of other funding bodies.

Among the guests were some of the local people who helped to raise funds for the original building programme back in the 1970s.

In thanking all those who had helped carry the new project through, pool chair Pat Taylor said the secret of Settle’s success at a time when swimming pools around the country were being forced to close was the tremendous commitment of the local community to the pool, shown both through financial support and especially through the number of people who volunteered to support fund raising  ventures such as the pool charity shop. 

Julian Smith also praised the local commitment to the pool and the way that helped gain funding from public bodies such as Sport England and the local authorities.

A key part of the redevelopment is the creation of the new wellbeing centre fitSpace which is now coming into use for a wide-variety of activities and events. 

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Splashdown! Settle’s pool is back bigger and better – thanks to ‘generous and selfless support’
27 Oct 2022

YEARS of “hard graft and sacrifice” by hundreds of people in and around Settle have finally paid off with the £840,000 transformation of the town’s swimming pool.

Many of the volunteers and supporters who championed the pool over the years were back in the building last night for a sneak preview ahead of this weekend’s official reopening.

And what a transformation there is. The pool remains – but tired changing facilities have been completely transformed.

There’s a bright new reception area, plus catering facilities to service a new café. Pride of place goes to ‘fitSpace’ – a wellbeing centre offering fitness classes, children’s soft play, cycling ‘spin sessions’ and much more.

“It has been tough, a mammoth struggle really – but we have finally made it,” declared chair of the pool trustees Pat Taylor. “The achievements of everyone involved in getting to where we are right now is the culmination of an awful lot of hard graft and sacrifice.”

Apart from the obvious obstacles of a devastating pandemic and lengthy lock-downs, the other big challenge that threatened the project came with Storm Arwen which ripped away large sections of the pool’s roof less than twelve months ago.

While Arwen wrecked plans to keep the pool open during the redevelopment, it did provide an opportunity to add a bank of solar panels, cutting the pool’s energy bills.

But the solar roof meant unwelcome extra costs – triggering an urgent new fundraising effort. Generous donations from Hellifield Harness Racing were vital as was cash raised by participants in Rotary’s Dragonboat regatta at Coniston Cold. But the bulk of the fresh ‘roof’ money came from crowdfunding hastily – and expertly – organised by pool treasurer Rosie Sanderson.

Despite all these difficulties the team of trustees plus supporters, pool users and volunteers drew on their collective networks, knowledge and career experiences to keep the project on track. It will culminate in the formal opening ceremony by Julian Smith MP this weekend – with a special virtual guest appearance from star swimmer Ned Sharp, who learned to swim in Settle pool.

Ned, a multi-award winning butterfly champion, has his sights firmly fixed on the 2024 Paris Olympics. That dream started as a seven-year-old at his local junior school. “I learned to swim at Settle pool – everything started right here; it means so much to me and my family.”

Ned has backed the rebuild throughout, devoting time and encouragement despite his rigorous training and competition schedules. “It’s so important for young people in particular. I know how vital the pool is for the schools, and I just hope some of those kids who are going to be using it again in the coming weeks and months go on to make their own dreams come true.”

The redevelopment had substantial support from Sport England and Craven District Council, linked directly to the commitment to the pool shown by the local community. Volunteers dug deep with time and cash while the Rotary Club delivered consistent – and generous – support.

The pool has been helped by many fundraising ventures throughout its 50 year history, but none as significant as the opening of the charity shop in Duke Street, Settle, five years ago.

Over 40 volunteers give their time freely to ensure the shop’s ongoing success. As well as staffing the premises and receiving donations, they deliver crucial help by assessing donations in specialist areas such as jewellery, toys and haberdashery.

Thanks to Stephen Garnett for the great photo of Ned Sharp.

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Former karate world champion takes on new role at Settle Area Swimming Pool
23 Aug 2022

Sports manager Tash Ward, with five years’ experience in the leisure industry, has joined Settle Area Swimming Pool in the new post of business development manager.

Formerly club manager of Anytime Fitness in Ilkley, Tash has a sports management degree from Leeds Beckett University. She is also a qualified fitness instructor and personal trainer. Her new role will centre round the development of the facilities created at Settle pool, following the year-long rebuild programme. In particular she will take a lead in identifying new activities and people interested in using the additional dryside facilities. She will also work with the pool manager and paid and volunteer staff to make the most of the new development.

Tash says: “I have a passion for sport, having participated and competed in a variety of sports throughout my life, I understand the importance of having access to and participating in sport for your mental and physical wellbeing.

“My main sport growing up was Karate in which I became a black belt and world champion at the age of 14. Growing up in Thailand and going to an International School I was able to learn a variety of different sports from many different countries and cultures, which only grew my love for sport and fitness. 

”My love for the outdoors attracted me to the Settle area and my partner and I moved here in 2020. We welcomed our baby boy in January 2022 and my priorities changed. I wanted to be closer to home and wanted a new challenge in my career, which led me to this role at Settle Area Swimming Pool. 

“My goal is to bring my experience and love of sport and fitness to the local community and provide a space for everyone to participate in not only physical activities but also have access to wellbeing groups. I look forward to taking on this new role and meeting you all once we reopen. If you ever need any help, please do not hesitate to approach me, I’d be more than happy to help.” 

To contact Tash, email

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Revival of the Fittest - Fund raising concert
03 Aug 2022

Our friends in the popular Settle Rock n Roll band Revival of the Fittest are holding a fundraising concert for us at Settle Victoria Hall!

Doors and bar open at 7.30pm on Friday 18 November.


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Solar fundraising - we did it
10 Jul 2022

Celebrate our success in fundraising for solar panels! Our crowdfunding campaign reached its goal on 10 July, and raised £8,061 plus a £905 boost from GiftAid with generous donations from 79 of you.

We urgently needed roof repairs after damage from Storm Arwen in November 2021. This was an ideal opportunity to install solar panels and generate green electricity to heat the pool. The crowdfunding campaign was started to raise funds for this unplanned cost, and after 69 days the target was achieved.

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06 Jun 2022

This year’s May Day bank holiday, May 2, marked the fifth anniversary of the opening of the Settle Area Swimming Pool Charity Shop in Duke Street.

And what a five years it has been. Over that period the shop and related on-line sales have raised more than £275,000 and in doing so have both helped keep the pool afloat and paved the way for the major redevelopment now taking place.

But this was not a project that was a sure-fire success right from the start. The idea of charity shop to help finance the pool was conceived in a time of financial crisis.

By the mid-twenty-tens, after years of cuts to local authority funding, Craven District Council decided it could no longer continue to make a regular annual grant to Settle pool. At the same time North Yorkshire Council decided that it would have to axe the recycling credit scheme, which had effectively doubled the income that the Friends of Settle Swimming Pool, the other charity at that time associated with the pool, received for its paper recycling project.

If the pool was to survive a new source of funding was urgently needed.

A group of pool trustees took inspiration from Kirkcudbright, a Scottish town with a population similar to that of Settle. It had a community pool that was supported by a charity shop which regularly generated income of £40,000 a year.

But would the Kirkcudbright model work in Settle? There were a number of crucial questions: could suitable premises be found? Could we get enough volunteers to organise and staff the shop? Would we get donations and customers? And the overarching issue – could Settle, which already had two thriving charity shops – Age Concern, and, at that time SCAD, support and welcome a third?

The possibility of renting premises on the narrow bit of road opposite The Royal Oak, was considered, but once the former shoe shop, on Duke Street, between the Premier store and the Golden Lion, became available that was clearly the preferred choice.

The shop supporters took their case to the Pool Management Committee and to the Friends of Settle Pool, who despite some doubts agreed to underwrite the project for six months to the sum of £8,000. In the end that money was not needed. The guarantee was enough to get the project underway and with a lick of paint, some donated facilities – till, racks, coat hangers all was ready for the opening.

The first sign of success came 15 minutes before the official opening time, when a man knocked on the door and offered £15 for a clock that formed part of the initial window display.

As reported in the spring 2018 issue of Community News, within weeks the shop was generating between £500 and £700 a week and after six months it had contributed £13,000 to the pool running costs.

Things were going well but there were problems. There were limited facilities for sorting donations and it was hard to handle any large, and indeed valuable, items that supporters might offer.

The big change came in the spring of 2020.That was when Covid hit. Like every other non-essential retail premise in the country our charity shop had to close as the nation went into lockdown.

When things began to open up again a few months’ later shops were allowed to open but not swimming pools. That was a blow for Settle swimmers, but an opportunity to use the pool foyer as a collection and sorting point for donations.

Covid security had to be observed. Donors had to leave their goods in a certain area where they were quarantined for three days before being sorted. The extra space and car parking facilities in front of the pool proved a boon for donations, as did the fact that many folks had spent the lockdown months clearing out unwanted goods.

But when the pool was allowed to re-open another problem arose. Surplus donations that could not be accommodated at the shop were already been stored at various containers around the town but where might we receive and process new donations? The answer was to use the space across the carpark from the pool that had previously been home to the paper recycling containers. Such was the success that within a few months a second container was needed for the larger ‘on line’ sales items which could not be housed at the shop.

For a time it looked as though there might be a problem when the paper recycling resumed. But despite numerous attempts to recruit new paper recycling volunteers, by the autumn of 2021 it had become clear it was neither feasible nor profitable to resume the recycling and so the space was now effectively permanently available for the receiving and processing shop donations. And that is the system now in operation. Donations are received and processed on Tuesday and Friday mornings (9.30am-12.30pm). The larger ones and the sort of the things people would not expect to find in a shop are put on line for sale on behalf of the pool and stored until sold.

But behind all this is the untold story of the shop’s success: namely the number of volunteers who have come forward and in many cases offered valuable and specialist skills.

It would be nice to name them all. But the list would be long and it would be hard to make it comprehensive.

Just to give a flavour, we have several women who devote far more time than is good for themselves to photographing and putting on line, for sale on behalf of the pool, every sort of item, from chimney sweep brushes, to beds; from dining tables to bikes; they have even sold a boat on behalf of the pool. It would be tempting to say people have donated everything but the kitchen sink. But that would not be true. We have actually received at least two sinks – suitable for use in a kitchen.

And then there are the specialists – the man who checks that watches work; the ones who look out for valuable items among the furniture and possible antiques; the electrician who PAT tests goods; the man who checks DVD and the other who inspects all the old LPs; the ladies who deal in haberdashery and toys; and others who sort jewelry and games. Remarkably there are even those who make sure there are no pieces missing from the donated jigsaws.

Have we missed any? I am sure we have: not least important are all those who fill in the regular shifts at the shop or the container managing the throughput from donation to sale.

All of this has given a solid funding base for the pool’s business plan going forward.

Thanks to all who have contributed to our first five year – oh and are you watching in Kirkcudbright? We do hope so. Here’s to the next five years and more.


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Make our swimming greener with solar panels
08 May 2022

We're excited to be doing our bit for the environment! Visit our Crowdfunding page to help us make our swimming greener with solar panels.

We are very lucky to be located in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales National Park. Huge rises in energy bills are a huge concern we need to tackle but as is looking after our local area and the world we live in.

Please help our fundraising campaign by following this link

Here's a video as one of our Volunteer Trustees heads up the campaign for Solar Panels.

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Settle Pool makes a splash with Community Loans
13 Mar 2022

Settle Pool has launched a scheme where supporters can loan money to the pool through the government’s Social Investment Tax Relief Scheme.

This scheme enables charities and social enterprises like the pool to borrow money from supporters, who in turn get tax relief at a rate that gives a higher rate of return than they would expect to get from a bank or building society.

The pool is looking to raise £100,000 for three years to cover the period up to the point when the new health and wellbeing hub becomes financially sustainable.

Follow this link to the page where you can download the full prospectus...

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Press Articles

4 Dec 2023 Settle Pool 'in real danger' of closing after losing out on funding
18 Nov 2023 Free surfing now available at Settle Swimming Pool
31 Oct 2023 Settle pool trustee Anne named 'volunteer of the year'
10 Oct 2023 ACE Settle prepares to launch its own Local Energy Club with help from pool
6 Sep 2023 Settle Stingrays prepare for Ironman challenge this Sunday
18 August 2023 Settle Flowerpot festival organiser draws pool 200 club winners
10 Aug 2023 Former Karate world champion is new manager at Settle Pool
3 July 2023 Settle Stingrays to be main attraction at pool's annual meeting
8 Jun 2023 Rotary's Dragon Boat Regatta declared a great success
16 May 2023 New 10-year strategic vision Access Aquatics unveiled by Swim England
27 April 2023 Community run Settle Pool acts to tackle rise in fuel costs
4 Apr 2023 Settle Pool chair receives award at last ever district council meeting
20 Mar 2023 Marathon cyclists ride around the clock for Settle pool
14 Mar 2023 Tiny data centre used to heat public swimming pool
13 March 2023 Jeremy Hunt to offer £63m budget lifeline to England’s swimming pools
8 Mar 2023 Settle Stingrays swim to victory in Yorkshire Championships
28 Feb 2023 Pool and Freda's Nursery link up for spinathon fundraiser
22 Feb 2023 Dales Radio news: Settle Pool in a spin
3 Feb 2022 Yorkshire Post Letters: We should all be fighting to keep local swimming pools open
5 Jan 2023 Ned stars at English Championships
25 Nov 2022 How you can help support Swim England’s #SaveOurPools campaign
29 Oct 2022 Singer James Newman and MP Julian Smith cut the celebratory cake at Settle Pool
29 Oct 2022 MP Julian Smith at opening of new pool
27 Oct 2022 Splashdown! Settle’s pool is back bigger and better – thanks to ‘generous and selfless support’
23 Sep 2022 Review of leisure services in drive to promote health
26 May 2022 Dragon boat racers raise a magnificent more than £20,000 for charities
8 March 2022 Craven Community Champions Award winners revealed
1 January 2022 The Friends who helped keep a swimming pool afloat
31 December 2021 Replacement trees are planted by supporters of Settle pool
16 Oct 2021 Work gets underway on £800,000 redevelopment of Settle Pool
5 Mar 2021 Craven District Council agrees funding of new Settle Pool Health and Wellbeing centre
25 Sep 2020 Settle Pool suspends its fundraising paper collections until next year
10 Aug 2020 Settle Swimming Pool promised £150,000 from Craven District Council towards its new Health and Wellbeing centre
15 Oct 2019 Settle Pool receives grant from Freemasons
29 Sep 2019 Musical water celebration to raise vital cash for Dales swimming pool
4 Jul 2019 Open gardens raise cash for pool
29 Mar 2019 Settle Swimming Pool recognised for its good work by the Royal Life Saving Society
28 Apr 2017 New charity shop in Settle to support swimming pool
9 Mar 2017 Settle Stingrays swimmers celebrate cash grant from Sport England
20 Oct 2015 Julian Smith MP visits Settle Swimming Pool