Kids can swim for £1 for next 10 days as Belfast aims to double pool usage by 2030
21 Aug 2019
A new Aquatics Strategy for Belfast is getting off to a swimming start with news that children can swim for £1 for the next 10 days in leisure centres across the city.
The Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor John Finucane, announced a range of ambitious targets for increased participation over the next decade at Olympia Leisure Centre today.
Belfast City Council developed the Aquatics Strategy for Belfast 2019-2030 in partnership with Active Belfast Limited and GLL, the social enterprise who run the council’s 14 leisure centres under the ‘Better’ brand.
The Lord Mayor said: “We’ve seen an incredible 24% increase in swim lessons over the last year. By 2030 we want to almost double pool usage to 1.5 million pool visits per year and we have a range of other very ambitious targets. This includes big increases in annual swimming lessons, significant growth of usage amongst women and substantial increases in pool visits by the over 60s.
“The Aquatics Strategy supports our Belfast Agenda vision of building a city where everyone experiences good health and wellbeing by 2035.
“Underpinning the strategy is Council’s £105 million Leisure Development Programme which will see seven new leisure facilities built over a ten year period. These five star facilities will be available at three star prices so that they are accessible to everyone in the city.”
Gareth Kirk, Regional Director at GLL, said: “GLL is proud to work in partnership with Belfast City Council to deliver leisure services across Belfast and we are committed to putting in place robust plans to meet the ambitions of the Aquatics Strategy and help transform leisure in the city.
“More than 5,000 people are learning to swim in our pools each week through the Better Swim School and school swimming lessons, and we want to see this double in the next ten years, teaching an important life skill and also inspiring young athletes in the city.
“Thanks to significant investment in pools, activities and staff training, we’ve established a really attractive and competitive offer.”
John McGuigan, Chair of Active Belfast Limited said: “By putting in place plans to grow overall pool usage, target traditionally underrepresented groups and introduce the widest possible range of water based activities, I am confident that we can achieve our objectives.
“The aim of our leisure strategy for Belfast is to get more people, more active, more often. Providing affordable and accessible services, which is central to the Aquatics Strategy, is vital to making this possible.”