Free swimming is a local, council supported scheme designed to extend opportunities to swim and maximise the health benefits of swimming. The scheme is for Portsmouth residents, 12 years old and under and gives free access to the following council-run pools in the city.

  • Mountbatten Leisure Centre
  • Charter Community Sports Centre

You can view more information about swimming pools in Portsmouth.

About the scheme

You can apply to join the free swimming scheme at any of the two swimming centres.

  • Mountbatten Leisure Centre
  • Charter Community Sports Centre

To be eligible:

  • You must be a Portsmouth resident (PO1-PO6). We’ll ask to see proof of address so bring a recent utility bill or a council tax bill for the current year with you.
  • You will need to show official proof of age – for example a birth certificate or valid passport.
  • You must show a valid Portsmouth Library Card. If you’re not already a library member you can join for free at any of the nine library branches around the city, or the Mobile Library.

Successful applicants will be given a free swimming membership card and a one off administration charge of £3.50 applies. Please note there will be a charge of £3.50 for any replacement cards.

Terms and conditions apply

The scheme enables residents 12 years old and under to apply for a card giving free access to swim at 2 council run pools in the city.

Free swimming will only be available during public swimming sessions. Children between the ages of 5 and 12 years will not be permitted access to any free swimming during the hours of 9am and 3pm during local authority school term terms.

In accordance with Health and Safety Executive guidance all children aged 8 and under to 5 years, must be accompanied in the pool by a fee-paying adult at all times to the ratio of 1 parent to 3 children. For children aged 4 and under a ratio of 1 fee paying adult to 2 children applies.

For children aged 9-12 there is not a requirement for the children to be accompanied in the pool, but the children must be accompanied by an adult who must remain at the centre during the visit. There is no fee for general adult entrance to the centre.

Admission to the swimming sessions will be subject to the pool’s capacity.

The Free Swimming Scheme does not include swimming lessons although these can be booked directly with our partner BH Live.