Graham Williams continued: "Using an insight-led and partnership approach to working with local organisations we can ensure free swimming continues to play a role in supporting people to swim. Not only is it a life skill but it can also be the start of a positive relationship with sport and being active for life which brings with it so many added physical and mental health benefits. We understand that change may not be positive for everyone and apologise to those who may find their normal sessions rescheduled or no longer free. We are working hard with our LA colleagues to minimise impact and to ensure the funding that is available is used to maximum benefit."

The new initiative will be delivered against a reduced budget of £1.5m per annum from April 2020. However, during 2019-20 Local Authorities will also have access to a share of £1m in capital investment allowing them to update swim facilities where needed.

Those looking to find out more about what's available in their area and changes to current sessions under the revised initiative are advised to contact their local public pool for more information and updated timetables.