AMBITIOUS plans to convert an industrial unit at Winwick Quay into a swimming pool have been revealed.

Olympic medallist and BBC broadcaster Steve Parry is hoping to inspire the next generation of swimmers at the new facility off Winwick Road next to LA Bowl.

This is the first facility to open as part of swim! – a programme which aims to encourage children between the ages of three and 11 to learn this vital life skill.

Steve Parry, who is a former captain of the British Swimming team and competed in two Olympic games, is managing director of Total Swimming -  a company he formed more than 10 years ago with fellow Olympian Adrian Turner.

Among his achievements, Steve beat Michael Phelps when he reached the final of the 200 metre butterfly race at the Athens Olympics in 2004 and took home a bronze medal, 

Since launching the company a decade ago, Total Swimming has taught more than 200,000 children to swim.

It is also the biggest provider of modular swimming pools in the UK, having built more than 40 for leisure providers and local authorities.

Steve said: “Adrian and I have gained great understanding from teaching children and designing pools for other people, but now we have brought both of those together in an exciting way.

"It makes sense for us to take this step as we know all about what people want.

“With swim! we can control the entire customer journey and provide the best learn to swim experience in the country.”

"Nationally, only half of the children who leave primary school are able to swim.

"We have chosen Warrington for the first swim! centre because our research shows that facilities are limited and there are currently up to 2,000 children who cannot get access to the lessons they and their parents would like.”

The pool, which includes family-friendly changing rooms and a panoramic viewing lounge with a celebration area for youngsters to receive their awards, is set to open for lessons in September.

The centre also offers all children a free swim! intro session.

This will enable the team to place the children in the correct group for their ability.

He added: “There’s nothing worse for a child to start lessons in the wrong group which means they either lose confidence or don’t develop and become bored.

“We know from years of experience that learning to swim has to be a combination of fun and achievable challenges.”

Specialist full-time teachers have been employed and there will never be more than six children in each group.

Registration for the free swim! intro is now open. To book click here.