Free swims scheme continues to make a splash for youngsters in 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.

A free swimming scheme for youngsters in Hartlepool is making a big splash during the summer holidays.

For the fourth year in a row, children from the town are able to benefit from free swims and free transport on weekdays until Wednesday, August 31, excluding the Bank Holiday on August 29.

The free swims scheme has been really popular since we launched it in 2013, and I am delighted that this year is proving to be no different

Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher

The scheme is run by Hartlepool Borough Council and is delivered at Mill House Leisure Centre, in Raby Road, Hartlepool.

This year, it has been extended from four to six weeks, and so far 4,709 children have benefited.

The scheme enables children under the age of 16 to swim for free, and they can also take advantage of free council buses, which pick up from every school across the town and then drop children back off afterwards.

Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher, the leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, has been delighted with how the scheme has gone so far.

And he has encouraged more youngsters to take advantage of the free swims as a way of keeping fit and healthy.

Coun Akers-Belcher said: “The free swims scheme has been really popular since we launched it in 2013, and I am delighted that this year is proving to be no different.

“Swimming is a great way of keeping fit and if we can encourage young people to be active early on in their lives, there is more chance that they will stay fit as they grow older.”

Parents are welcome to accompany children on the buses and in the pool, but a charge is levied for them.

Priority at Mill House 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.

A leaflet with full details can be found in the centre of the latest Hartbeat magazine.

They are also available at leisure centres, libraries and the civic centre.

Alternatively, those who would like more information on the free swims scheme can download a leaflet from www.hartlepool.gov.uk/free-swims.