EVERY primary school pupil in Pendle is to receive free swimming sessions during holiday times.

Bosses at Pendle Council are offering all five to 11-year-olds in Nelson, Brierfield, Barrowford, Barnoldswick, Earby, Kelbrook, Salterforth and Colne the chance to brush up on their swimming techniques during the school holidays.

Town Hall bosses said the primary school age pupils will be entitled to free swimming sessions thanks to cash set aside by Lancashire County Council’s Neighbourhood Well-being Initiative Fund.

Starting this Easter, all Pendle primary school children will be allowed daily access on week days during the holidays to a two hour pre-planned session at Pendle Leisure Trust’s pools including: Pendle Wavelengths, Nelson; Pendle Leisure Centre, Colne and West Craven Sports Centre, Barnoldswick.

The holidays will include, Easter, May Half Term, Summer, October Half Term and next February Half Term - a total of 55 free swimming days.

Chief Executive of Pendle Leisure Trust, Alison Goode, said: “During the discussions with Cllr Azhar Ali, we decided to widen the offer to all Pendle primary schoolchildren and approached the other town councils for funding.

“I’m delighted to say thanks to cash contributions from some of Pendle’s town councils, plus Lancashire County Council’s Neighbourhood Well-being Initiative Fund, funding has been secured for 2017/18, starting this Easter.”

County Cllr Azhar Ali said the initiative was about helping schoolchildren to stay active during the holidays.

He said: “I am responsible for health and well-being and wanted to make sure children are able to be active during the school holidays.

“Following discussions with Pendle Leisure Trust and some town councils, I accepted their bids to provide free swimming for primary school pupils during the holidays.

“This is really important to get children confident in the water and get them active.”

The move comes after children in Burnley and Pendle were officially branded the fattest in Lancashire. The NHS National Child Measurement Programme revealed nearly 38 per cent of Year Six students in Burnley and Pendle are overweight or obese by the time they leave primary school.