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Subsidised swimming offered at pool

PUBLISHED: 09:00 30 July 2010 | UPDATED: 09:55 01 August 2010

SELECTED groups will be offered subsidised swimming sessions at Beccles Lido when it opens, it was announced last night.

In June the Government revealed that it would no longer be able to fund subsidised swimming, however volunteers at the town swimming pool have been able to secure two private grants that will enable them to fill that gap.

SELECTED groups will be offered subsidised swimming sessions at Beccles Lido when it opens, it was announced last night.

In June the Government revealed that it would no longer be able to fund subsidised swimming, however volunteers at the town swimming pool have been able to secure two private grants that will enable them to fill that gap.

Under-16s, over-60s, and people on Job Seekers' Allowance, will be given the chance to buy a one-off £5 card that will allow them to swim for free for the rest of the season.

There will be a limited number of cards on offer at the Lido on Monday and Tuesday between 10am- 4pm.

Applicants for the £5 card will need two passport photos and a passport or other form of photo-identity, which includes their home address.

Those receiving Job Seekers' Allowance will need proof of receipt of benefits.

The subsidised swimming is being offered thanks to a £5,000 grant from the NHS Small Grants Fund and a £1,000 grant from the Lovewell Blake Fund.

Suzanne Gibbons, a director of Beccles Lido Limited, said that the offer was a huge step forward for the Lido.

“We're in an enviable position that we were lucky enough and had the foresight to apply for subsidised swimming,” she said. “The fact that we're able to offer subsidised swimming is a really good thing because people want to swim and it's sad if they can't do it because of their financial position.

“We are very grateful for the grants from NHS Small Grants Fund and the Lovewell Blake Fund.”

Children under-16 and people over-60 will also be offered a cut price of £2.50 per session if they do not have the card, compared to the usual price of £3 off-peak or £4 peak.

The re-opening of Beccles Lido is now fast approaching, and it is still hoped that the pool's renovation will be finished by next Saturday.

British Gas Green Streets contractors are nearing the completion of the high-tech pool liner, having stitched together the cracks in the concrete with high-tension concrete staples.

The entire site has also been re-painted by Beccles Lido volunteers.

Beccles Lido Limited intend to have a five-week season, although this will be extended if the weather holds and staff are still available.

Graham Elliott, Green Party councillor for Beccles North, paid tribute to the team. He said: “This is a truly magnificent community effort led by a group of people with great vision and commitment. The legacy of their work will benefit the town for many years to come.”

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