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Swimming pools re-opening information

Most of our swimming pools reopened on Monday 10 August 2020.

Lane swimming, aqua classes and family fun sessions (small pool, weekends only) are available but you must pre-book your visit. We are still looking at how we can safely restart swimming lessons.

Swimming pools that are open:

* Spennymoor pool, Consett Leisure Centre pool and Peterlee Leisure Centre pool will remain closed.

Icon for pdf Video transcript for pools reopening (PDF, 97.9kb)

Book a lane swim, aqua class or family fun session

You can only return to your swimming pool if you login or register to book your aqua class or swim session online in advance (you can book up to seven days in advance). To see available sessions and classes, select 'Classes'. If you are booking a family fun session, you only need to book one place (for a maximum of 5 people). 

You can also contact your leisure centre to book over the phone if you have a leisure membership only. 


If you don't have a leisure centre or swim membership, you can still book your sessions online but you must have a Thrive card. If you don't have a Thrive card, you can order this online free of charge, using the promotion code COMEBACK. Simply request your leisure centre membership online and select 'Leisure Card Adult' (normally £5). Once you've placed your order, you'll be given your Thrive card number so you can register to book your session, and we'll give you your card next time you visit the centre.

If you are under 16 you can't order a Thrive card online, you will need to come to your leisure centre with your parent/carer to register.

Lost cards (members and non-members)

If you've lost your Thrive card, please email We'll order a replacement card for you, and also give you your membership number so that you can login or register to book your aqua class or swim session.

Swimming lessons

We are currently reviewing our aqualearn programme in line with national guidance from Swim England. Memberships will continue to be frozen until we can update you on how we can offer these sessions safely.

Information about your session

Swim sessions are 1 hour in length, this includes time taken to enter the building and to change poolside. We aim to give you an actual swim time of up to 45 minutes.

Pools will have one-way systems in place and you must attend "beach style ready" with your swimming costume under your clothing. You'll be provided with a chair on poolside to remove your over clothing and to leave your possessions whilst you swim. You'll also be provided with your own changing area to dry yourself and to change into your clothing after the session, showers will be closed.

Family Swim sessions will be in the small pool (except Teesdale which will be in the shallow end of the large pool) and follows the same arrangements with "beach style ready" arrival and family changing facilities on exit. Families are up to five from the same bubble and you will be given a designated area in the pool to use. See our  page for the latest information on adult/child ratios.

You can book up to two sessions in a day. If you book a double session, after the first session you must leave the leisure centre and re-enter, following our entry procedure.

Cancel if you can't attend

Please remember to cancel your aqua class or swim session if you're not able to attend. If possible give a minimum of 12 hours notice, so that someone else can book the place. Login to your account, as if you are going to book your session online to cancel your session.

How to use the swimming pool safely

We have extra staff in our leisure centres to support you in following the new arrangements.

We have signs in place to help you move safely around the centre and have a strict cleaning regime in place along with extra hand sanitiser and cleaning stations.

What you must know before you arrive

To ensure your safety and the safety of others, you must:

  • Pre-book your lane swim, family fun session or aqua classes (you can book up to seven days in advance).
  • Arrive five minutes before your session start time - if you arrive late, you will have to re-book a later session.
  • Arrive "beach style ready" with your swimming costume under your clothing. If you are uncomfortable or unable to change on poolside then please contact the leisure centre.
  • Children below the age of 16 years must be accompanied by a responsible person aged 16 years or over, this is to help prevent children from breaking social distancing rules.
  • In the main pools only lane swimming will be available so children must be competent swimmers.
  • Spectators are not allowed.

Please do not attend if you are displaying any symptoms of Covid-19 - see what to do if you think you have Coronavirus, which includes common symptoms.

How to enter the building

  • Follow social distancing signs that are displayed outside and inside our leisure centres.
  • You may need to queue outside until your session is due to start. 
  • Our staff will give you guidance on entering the building.
  • On entering, you must sanitise your hands, scan your card and check-in with our team. When you check-in, we'll confirm that we have your correct details, so that we can support NHS test and trace.

Storing your belongings

We encourage you not to bring any valuables onto the poolside as there will be no lockers available. Belongings will be left on your designated chair on poolside during your swim.

Bring your own equipment such as arm bands, toys and floats for the family fun sessions

You will need to bring your own swimming equipment for the family fun sessions and not share it with anyone outside of your family.

How swimmers will be socially distanced

In lane swimming we will use double width lanes and reduce the amount of people allowed into them at any one time, i.e. up to 10 swimmers per double lane. Updated lane etiquette and pool rules will be enforced and signs and notices will be displayed so that you know what to expect. 

You must avoid using back stroke as this will help to maintain social distancing.

Additional support

If you need extra support to access our leisure centres, or if you attend with a carer please contact your leisure centre before your visit to arrange.


If you have a leisure centre membership, we recently wrote to you to explain your membership options (in light of COVID-19). You will have either received this by email or post.

Your membership options include:

  • Option 1: From 1 September 2020, we will automatically restart all direct debits payments. If you have already paid in full for any membership, the period of the closure will be added to the end of your contract.
  • Option 2: We understand that not everyone is ready or able to come back so you have the option to freeze your membership for up to three months. If this is your preferred option please let us know by no later than 20 August by emailing us at: - please include your full name, address and membership number. You can unfreeze your membership at any time.

If you make the come back and decide that it still isn't time for you to return you have the option to freeze your membership again if you inform us before the 20 August. We want you to come back when you feel it's safe to do so.

If you have not heard from us by 10 August, please email, and include your name and membership number. Your membership number is on your Thrive card. 

If you are interested in becoming a member, see our Leisure centre memberships or swim memberships page for more information.

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