Let’s dive in! As open air pools in Hitchin and Letchworth open for the summer today, £12,000 hoists help make them more accessible

PUBLISHED: 05:35 21 May 2016 | UPDATED: 05:35 21 May 2016

Hitchin Swimming Centre

Hitchin Swimming Centre

Archant

New portable pool hoists will be available at two outdoor swimming pools when they open for the summer season today, making it easier for disabled swimmers to get in and out of the water.

Letchworth’s outdoor pool in Icknield Way and the open-air pool at Hitchin Swimming Centre in Fishponds Road will both have the equipment.

North Herts District Council, which owns the pools, and Stevenage Leisure Ltd, which runs them under contract, have teamed up to foot the £12,000 bill.

Stevenage Leisure managing director Ian Morton said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the council on this latest investment initiative.”

Councillor Jane Gray, the council’s executive member for leisure, added: “Both pools already benefit from disabled changing facilities and a sloped access down to the pool surround.

“However, the new facilities make it easier for wheelchair users and people with mobility problems to enter the pool, improving access for those with all kinds of disabilities.”

Also backing the initiative is Councillor Lorna Kercher, who represents Letchworth at county and district level. She said: “I am really pleased to see the new equipment installed at the outdoor pools – I have been a keen supporter of the project from the very beginning.”

Hitchin is open from 8am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday, although the indoor swimming centre next door is open from 6.30am each morning.

The hours at the Letchworth pool are 7am to 6.30pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with an 8am opening time on Tuesdays and Thursdays and weekend hours of 8.30am to 6pm.

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