Great start for free swims scheme

Published Monday, 30th July 2018

A free swims scheme operating in Hartlepool during the summer holidays has got off to a flying start with almost 2,000 children taking advantage of the offer in its first week.

A total of 1,941 children either used the free buses which come as part of the Hartlepool Council scheme or made their own way to the town’s Mill House Leisure Centre.

The scheme - now in its sixth year - enables children under the age of 16 to swim free of charge at the leisure centre during the school summer holidays. The free buses pick up from every school across the town and then drop children back off after their free swim.

This year, the scheme is running daily until Friday August 31st, 10am to 1.30pm (excluding weekends and Bank Holidays).

Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher, the Leader of Hartlepool Council said: “I am delighted that so many children took advantage of the offer in its first week.

“Swimming is a great way to beat summer holiday boredom and it helps to keep children active. This free scheme is also designed to help alleviate some of the financial pressures that parents can face during the six-week summer holiday break.

“A record number of children - more than 10,000 - enjoyed free swims last year and we hope to see even more children 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 8 must be accompanied by an adult. Parents can accompany children on the buses for free, but a charge for swimming applies.

More information can be found at, while a leaflet with full details and bus timetables can be obtained from the Civic Centre and all leisure centres.