From April 2020, South Tyneside Council has confirmed the extension of its concessionary leisure scheme to residents in receipt of a war pension.
The announcement, made by Cllr Ed Malcolm as part of his budget speech, builds on the Council's successful track record of supporting the armed forces.
The war pension concession is in addition to existing leisure concessions which are:
Senior citizens (age 60 years plus)
Full-time students (18 years plus)
Registered carer's (must be in receipt of a Carer's Allowance and care for someone for at least 35 hours a week)
Those on a Government approved training scheme
LAC and care leavers
Cllr Ed Malcolm, Lead Member for Resources and Innovation and Chair of the Armed Forces Forum said: "We are committed to support to the local Armed Forces community and make it easier for Service personnel, families and veterans to access the help and support available to them.
"The work we have undertaken since signing the Armed Forced Community Covenant back in 2011 is having a really positive effect on the lives or both serving and ex-servicemen and women in South Tyneside. I'm glad that we are able to offer a leisure concession to those in receipt of a war pension - many of whom will value the use of our facilities across the borough."
War pensions are given to those who suffered injury or illness as a result of their service.
Joe Mills, ex-soldier and NAAFI break volunteer, said "The Council already offers an outstanding level of support to those who have served and continue to serve their country in the Armed Forces. This is yet another example of how the Council goes above and beyond to support the Armed Forces community in South Tyneside.
"Those who have sustained an injury or illness through military service will benefit hugely from discounted entry to leisure facilities as exercise will no doubt improve their mental as well as physical wellbeing."
It has been over eight years since the first South Tyneside Community Covenant was signed. The Covenant is a statement of mutual support between the civilian and local armed forces communities.
The covenant has been instrumental in providing support for the Armed Services Community, allowing them to access vital services in the Borough as well as helping improve the transition from service life to civilian life. This helps the armed forces community to contribute their skills and experience to the local community.
Cllr Ed Malcolm added: "To date, our covenant work has made a real positive impact on the lives of our armed forces, reservists and veterans but we certainly aren't complacent. We recognise that there is always more that we can do. We are constantly challenging ourselves to see if there is positive impact ourselves or our partners can make. The leisure concession is just the latest addition to the support we offer."