Free swim scheme returns to Hartlepool

Youngsters having fun at the Mill House Leisure Centre pool  home of the Councils free swims scheme.
Youngsters having fun at the Mill House Leisure Centre pool  home of the Councils free swims scheme.

Hartlepool youngsters will once again be able to benefit from the council’s popular free swims scheme during the summer holidays.

Now in its fifth year, the scheme enables children under the age of 16 to swim for free at the town’s Mill House Leisure Centre.

Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher, leader of Hartlepool Borough Council.

Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher, leader of Hartlepool Borough Council.

Last summer there was a record breaking number of youngsters who took part with more than 8,093 children taking advantage of the scheme.

Last year thousands of children travelled on the free buses, which pick up from every school across the town and then drop children back off after their hour-long free swim.

The scheme will take place at Mill House Leisure Centre in Raby Road.

This year it will run from Monday, July 24, to Friday, September 1, from 10am to 1.30pm daily - excluding weekends and Bank Holidays.

Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher, the leader of Hartlepool Borough Council said the scheme way a great way of encouraging children to keep active in the hope they will keep it up as they get older.

He said: “The ever-popular free swims scheme saw record numbers of children take advantage of free time in the pool last summer.

“Swimming can beat summer holiday boredom and keep children active, and this free scheme can help to alleviate some of the financial pressure on parents during the six-week summer holiday break.

“We hope to see even more children than ever get involved this year. If we can encourage young people to be active early on in their lives, there is a higher chance that they will stay fit as they grow older.”

Priority is given to children travelling on the free buses, but children not on buses can access free swims until the last admission at 1.30pm.

Children under eight years old must be accompanied by an adult.

Parents can accompany children on the buses for free, but a charge for swimming applies.

Buses will have ‘personal assistants’ on board to answer any queries.

More information an the bus time table can be found online by visiting: www.gethartlepoolactive.co.uk

There is also a leaflet with full details and bus timetables available from the Civic Centre and all leisure centres and libraries.

People can also call Mill House Leisure Centre on 01429 223791. Accessible transport can be pre-booked by calling: 01429 523855.