Hartlepool kids can swim for free during summer holidays

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 summer swimming scheme is set to make a splash in Hartlepool when it returns during the school holidays.

The council’s popular free swims initiative is returning to the town’s Mill House Leisure Centre from tomorrow.

Under the initiative, children under the age of 16 benefit from free swims and free council buses which pick up from every primary and secondary school across the town and then drop children back off afterwards.

The scheme and free transport runs on weekdays, excluding the bank holiday on August 29, until Wednesday, August 31.

Last summer, record numbers participated in the scheme which has now been extended from four weeks to six weeks, giving children a greater opportunity to enjoy the free swim experience.

Coun Christopher Akers-Belcher, the leader of Hartlepool Borough Council, said: “The free swims scheme has been really popular since we launched it in 2013 and for this year we’ve decided to extend it from four to six weeks.

“Swimming is a fantastic way of keeping fit and if we can encourage young people to be active early on in their lives, then there will be a greater chance that they will maintain their level of fitness as they get 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, in Raby Road, is given to children travelling on the free buses but children not on buses can access free swims still until the last admission at 1.30pm.

To find out more about the scheme, go to www.hartlepool.gov.uk/free-swims