FREE swimming for children across the borough will be extended to include all school holidays, starting from this Easter.

A trial during last year's summer holidays saw more than 14,000 children take advantage of free swimming at Dudley, Crystal and Halesowen leisure centres over the six-week break.

The initiative has now been extended to include all school holidays including Easter, half-term holidays and Christmas.

The new scheme will start during the Easter holidays from Saturday April 13 and applies to all children up to 16-years-old who live in the borough.

Registration is open from April 1, although parents or children who registered last summer do not need to do so again and can use their previous code.

Councillor Qada Zada, leader of the council, said: "We are delighted to be able to announce the extension of this initiative to take in all Dudley school holidays.

"The figures from the summer show that there is a real demand for it, and it was encouraging to see from the statistics that well over a third who visited the pools were not normally regular swimmers.

"We hope lots of children will take advantage of the offer.”

Councillor Cathy Bayton, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said: "I want to make sure this is a really inclusive scheme and that all children, irrespective of background, take advantage of our free swimming offer.

"We want families with younger children to not have to worry about spending loads of money, and to come along to the leisure centres together for a cheap and fun day out.”

To register a child for free swimming, visit: