A town council on the Fylde coast has pledged more than £16,000 over the next for years to ensure youngsters will be able to use public swimming facilities for free.
Fleetwood Town Council agreed to ring-fence a four year funding project from 2019 to 2022 to subsidise free junior swimming at the town’s YMCA Leisure Centre pool and also at the nearby Marine Splash play area.
The scheme, specifically for Fleetwood youngsters with the town’s FY7 post code, will see an investment from the council of £4,243 each year, for four years.
And the town councillors who proposed the scheme, Coun Cheryl Raynor and Coun Norah Stuchfield, have also agreed a deal with housing group Regenda to contribute an additional £1,500 per year, over the same period.
They stepped in after hearing a similar scheme, funded by the town’s Lancashire County Council member for Fleetwood East, Coun Lorraine Beavers, would not be continued after County Hall axed local members’ grants.
Fleetwood councillors unanimously backed the grant.
Coun Raynor, who represents the council’s Pharos ward, said: “It is a win-win situation in every way. It makes sure the children get exercise and stay fit. It will keep them out of trouble or hanging around street corners.
“And if it saves ones child’s life because they learn to swim, it will be worth it.”
The free sessions at the YMCA pool will run for children over school holiday periods only. Families will need to prove residence in Fleetwood by providing the necessary documents, such as utility bills.