Free swimming for pregnant women is set to be trialled in South Gloucestershire following a successful campaign.

It has been confirmed that a 12 month pilot scheme has been approved by the Circadian Trust, the charity who run Active Leisure Centres.

Free swimming will therefore be offered to pregnant women across the area, including in Thornbury and Yate.

A campaign was launched by local residents and Conservative parliamentary candidate Luke Hall after research demonstrated health benefits.

The policy formed part of his 'Positive Plan' for improving health in South Gloucestershire

Luke asked South Gloucestershire Council for assistance in securing free swimming in local leisure centres in the Thornbury and Yate area, whist leading a petition which garnered overwhelming support.

Former swimming teacher and mum of three Liz Brennan said, “This is amazing news for pregnant women in our community and will encourage healthy pregnancies thanks to Luke’s campaign. As a local mum, I think it is important for pregnant women to have access to vital exercise opportunities such as this.”

“We really appreciate Luke’s help and support with this important campaign, and are really pleased to hear this news.”

Luke added: "“As a father living in Yate, it is great news that we have been able to secure free swimming for pregnant women.

"I am grateful to everyone who took the time to sign my petition.

"This is a very exciting initiative and I am grateful for the overwhelming support this campaign has received.”

The pilot scheme will be rolled out at the Active Lifestyle Centres in Thornbury, Yate, Kingswood, Bradley Stoke and Longwell Green from February 2020.  It will run for a year initially and, if deemed to be successful, may continue permanently.

Mark Crutchley, chief executive of Circadian Trust, the not-for-profit organisation which operates the Active Lifestyle Centres, said: “As an organisation with the community at its core, we’re delighted that we’ll soon be providing this new service for pregnant women.

"It’s testament of our commitment to provide the widest possible healthy lifestyle offering to our customers.”