UP TO 13,000 Ellesmere Port residents will be entitled to use some leisure and sporting facilities at half-price from next year.
In July the council asked Active 8 Ltd, the private company which runs borough leisure facilities, to design a scheme to allow more people to use them at reduced cost.
Active 8 has come up with a trial scheme centred on the Active Lifestyle Card, which will be introduced from next April. Valid for one year, it will cost £2.
Head of operational services Mike Gilks said: 'For several years the borough council operated a scheme aimed at helping groups such as the socially disadvantaged and disabled.
'However, the scheme was felt to be flawed in that a wide range of socially disadvantaged residents were excluded.
'The council therefore asked us to design a new scheme which would enable a greater number of people to benefit.
'The customer will not have to produce proof of eligibility on each visit which was the case under the original scheme.
'The scheme will be flexible enough to be amended should other categories or benefits be identified. It will be reviewed after six months and improvements made where necessary.'
The card will be available to:
* Those aged over 60
* Students in full-time education
* Youths on training courses or Modern Apprenticeships.
* Those receiving Jobseekers Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Incapacity Benefit, Disability Living Allowance, Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit, Disabled Person's Tax Credit, Invalid Care Allowance, Widows Pension, Housing Benefit, Working Family Tax Credit, War Widows Pension, and Income Support.
Mr Gilks said: 'We will be leafleting extensively in areas such as Westminster and Stanney to try and reach as many people as possible. There will also be a large advertising campaign.'