Free swimming scheme discarded early

A free Lincoln swimming scheme will be discarded one year early, falling victim to the latest round of government funding cuts. The scheme started in April 2009, and was supposed to run through to the end of March 2011.

Closing down at the end of July, the City of Lincoln Council says the free swimming scheme for under 16s and over 60s brought in over 50,000 swims at the Yarborough Leisure Centre and at the City of Lincoln Academy pool during its first year.

But the Council claims that it had made it clear from the beginning that it would only be able to provide free swimming for as long as the government was able to provide funding. The government funding will end on July 31st.

“The decision to stop this funding now is not totally unexpected in the context of the financial difficulties being expressed by the government,” said Councillor Alistair Williams, who is the portfolio holder for health and recreation at the City Council.

“We are obviously disappointed to receive the news that the funding to support this initiative has needed to be stopped in advance of the original timetable.

“We always knew that the funding was going to end, but it had been intended to run until the end 31st March 2011, and so we have planned and marketed the free swimming initiative on that basis,” Williams added.

The free swimming scheme will run until July 31st at the Yarborough Leisure Centre and the City of Lincoln Academy pool (on Sundays only), and the Council is urging Lincolnites to take advantage of the scheme while they can.

Source: City of Lincoln Council | Photo: Get Set London 2012