Pregnant women across South Gloucestershire will now be able to swim for free at Active Leisure Centres.

Circadian, who run the centres, and Luke Hall MP revealed the news after a campaign across the region.

The scheme starts from February 1st 2020, and will be rolled out in every active Leisure centre, including: Yate, Bradley Stoke, Kingswood and Thornbury.

The pilot will run for a year, which will be monitored and reviewed, and the findings used to inform any future decision.

To be eligible for the scheme, women will need to present their Maternity Exemption Certificate, supplied by their doctor or midwife, and will also need to show proof of address before their first session.

This campaign for free swimming is the first part of Luke’s Positive Plan for improving Schools and Family Life to be delivered.

The campaign was started after research suggested that there were numerous benefits from swimming during pregnancy.

These include: Improved fitness and reducing high blood pressure.

Luke Hall MP said: “As a husband and father to two young children, I really know how valuable this scheme shall be for pregnant women. It has been great to team up with local mums to push the council to create such an innovative new scheme.”

Former swimming teacher and mum of three Liz Brennan said. “I am delighted that our joint campaign with Luke has seen real success.

“As a local mum, I think it is vital that pregnant women have access to support like this.

“This really is amazing news for local families in South Gloucestershire.”

Mark Crutchley, Chief Executive at Circadian Trust, said: “There are a vast number of benefits to exercising during pregnancy.

“From maintaining a healthy weight to reducing health-related complications for the mother and baby.

“These benefits can have long-term effect on a child’s development beyond birth.”