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More than 6,000 children use Hartlepool free swim scheme as final fortnight begins

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Children in Hartlepool are being urged to make the most of a free swims scheme as it enters its final fortnight.

The Hartlepool Borough Council scheme, now in its sixth year, enables children under the age of 16 to swim free of charge during the school summer holidays.

Mill House Leisure Centre.  Picture by FRANK REID

Mill House Leisure Centre. Picture by FRANK REID

It runs until Friday, August 31, and so far this year a total of 6,296 children have either used the free buses which come as part of the scheme or made their own way to the town’s Mill House Leisure Centre.

The scheme is now in its final two weeks and bosses are hoping to get near to last years record figure which topped 10,000 people getting involved.

Craig Mitchelson, facilities manager at the leisure centre, said: “Everyone is having a great time and enjoying themselves. The free buses have been absolutely packed.

“The slide and the diving boards have been in action and we have had some extremely positive feedback as a result.

“The scheme reflects the council’s on-going commitment to promoting healthier lifestyles for local families and we’d like to thank everyone for their support.

“There’s still two weeks of the scheme left and it would be great if we could get close to last year’s figure of 10,000 free swims which set a new record. So, if you want to come down it would be great to see you.”

The scheme runs Monday-Friday, 10am-1.30pm (excluding Bank Holidays). 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 the age of 8 must be accompanied by an adult. Parents can accompany children on the buses for free, but a charge for swimming applies.

More information, including bus pick up points and times, can be found at www.hartlepool.gov.uk/free-swims

Nic Marko , Local Democracy Reporting Service