By Connie Osborne 31/07 Updated: 31/07 17:09
RESIDENTS can enjoy pool sessions without splashing out as free swimming is reintroduced for over 60s and under 16s.
Abbey Stadium and Kingsley Sports Centre will allow free swimming during public sessions from Monday, August 20. As revealed by the Standard two weeks ago a banding system will be introduced to manage demand at peak times, limiting how long people can spend in the pool.
Residents initially have to register to be able to take up the offer.
Free swimming was originally introduced by the previous Labour government but axed by the coalition as part of its cost-cutting measures in 2010.
Labour vowed to reintroduce it after winning May's borough council election.
Council leader Bill Hartnett said he was delighted the scheme would be introduced before the end of the school summer holidays.
"Officers and members alike have put a lot of thought into how the system will operate to ensure the council’s facilities can continue to be used by everyone."
Coun Luke Stephens, responsible for leisure on the council, said: "We are lucky to have some very accessible sports facilities in the borough, not least the newly opened Abbey Stadium.
"I am delighted we are able to offer our older and younger residents the opportunity to experience these as a fun way of keeping fit and maintaining a healthy lifestyle."
Eligible residents will need proof of age to sign up at the Abbey Stadium on Tuesday, August 14 from 8am until 6pm and between 10am and 11am everyday from Wednesday, August 15 to Friday, August 17, Monday to Friday, August 20 to 24 and Tuesday to Friday, August 28 to 31.
A sign-up session is also being held at Kingsley Sports Centre on Wednesday, August 15 from 8am until 6pm.
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