Efforts by Hartlepool council to get more people to take up exercise and healthy activities are paying off.
Numerous initiatives provided by Hartlepool Borough Council’s Sport and Physical Activity Team have seen an increase in users over the last year.
A report presented to the council’s regeneration committee said the Learn to Swim Programme continues to thrive with high demand for lessons.
A total of 3,442 people took up lessons provided at Mill House Leisure Centre between last July and March of this year.
Summerhill Visitor Centre experienced an increase in visitors, up from 92,615 to 110,185 year on year.
An increase in primary school residential activities provided by the Outdoor Activities Service
Pat Usher, the council’s head of sport and recreation, also explained how a football development programme, in partnership with Greatham FC was increasing participation across the town.
A new 3G pitch at Brierton is used by a range of users including educational establishments, clubs, Community Sports Foundations and casual users attracting 8,771 participants.
The Football Association also the artificial pitch to run coaching courses and GCSE activities.
The report was broadly welcomed by councillors.
Coun Alan Clark said: “I think there is some superb outcomes and it shows participation in sport is certainly on the upturn.”
He sought assurances there was enough staff at Mill House to meet the demand for swimming lessons. Coun Stephen Akers-Belcher added: “It demonstrates what is actually happening in Hartlepool, I’m very pleased.”
The HELP (Hartlepool Exercise for Life) GP Referral scheme received 320 new referrals between October 2014 and March 2015.
Coun Kevin Cranney, chairman of the regeneration committee which received the update, added: “I think the work has been outstanding. When you see headlines about diabetes being on the increase we need to encourage people to be more active.”