Shipping container to increase access to swimming

Swim England has purchased its first shipping container to be transformed into a portable swimming pool.

A two-lane, 10-metres pool will be created from the 40ft long container, which will have a deck and built-in filtration and heating unit underneath.

It will then be transported to areas across the country where schools have limited access to facilities so more youngsters can be taught how to swim and learn to enjoy the water safely.

Around one in four youngsters currently leave primary school unable to swim a minimum of 25m despite swimming being part of the national curriculum.

Jon Glenn, Swim England’s Learn to Swim director, hopes the concept will help those schools which don’t have a pool or face transportation costs to take pupils to lessons.

He said: “It’s a unique idea that could have a big impact on making sure thousands are taught a key life-skill.

“The plan is to identify schools in areas of aquatic deprivation or that have poor access to facilities and we would then come up with an agreement for them to host the pool for a term.

“Over the course of the year, we could go to three or four different areas, opening up learn to swim opportunities to even more youngsters.”

The concept is not new but Swim England’s idea is believed to be the first portable shipping container pool in the country being used to improve the outcomes of school swimming.

Jon added: “We are not aware of anything else like this. If any schools that are struggling to access facilities for swimming lessons are interested in hosting the pool, then please get in touch.”

The pool is expected to be operational next year and anyone keen to host it should send an expression of interest to

For more information on school swimming, visit Swim England’s schools hub.