Salisbury cathedral

Swimming Pools

The hire of a swimming pool is treated differently from a simple licence to occupy land. While the letting of land is usually VAT exempt, there are different rules for the admission to and use of swimming facilities.

The use of a swimming pool could, potentially, be categorised in a number of different ways:-

  • The use of sports facilities
  • Pure equipment hire
  • The supply of education
  • Event admission; or
  • A licence to occupy land and buildings

Swimming lessons will qualify as education, but the use of a swimming pool without instruction, even where supervision or lifeguards are present, does not qualify as education. Swimming lessons are treated in the same way as adult education.

Admission to a swimming pool or the hire of the whole pool to a third party (e.g. swimming club) is treated as shown below.

It is important to note that the operation of the pool by a subsidiary company is likely to have a different treatment (see below), as the company is unlikely to qualify as an “eligible body”.

VAT Treatment

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