Phased reopening of leisure centres
PUBLISHED: 10:49 27 July 2020 | UPDATED: 10:53 27 July 2020
Leisure centres across North Somerset have begun reopening to the public.
Hutton Moor, in Weston, opened on Saturday offering limited facilities, although the swimming pools remain closed.
Legacy Leisure, which runs Hutton Moor, also reopened Scotch Horn in Nailsea.
To ensure the safety of staff and customers, the centres are limiting the number of people using the gym and exercise classes to enable social distancing and sessions will need to be pre-booked.
Measures implemented in the centres will include a rigorous cleaning and sanitisation programme, marked routes for users and protective barriers for staff.
Parish Wharf in Portishead and Strode in Clevedon are being targeted to open in early August.
Places Leisure, which operates these centres, are in touch with customers and the exact date will be announced soon through customer emails and its website.
A comprehensive FAQ covering the new measures in place when they do re-open is available at www.placesleisure.org/reopening/faqs/.
Repairs are required at Backwell and Churchill leisure centres before a decision can be made on when they can reopen safely.
The work which needs to be done is currently being assessed.
At its executive meeting in June, North Somerset Council agreed to give financial support of up to £1.128m to operators to ensure that some leisure provision is available to North Somerset residents through the Covid-19 recovery period.
Cllr Caritas Charles, the council’s executive member for leisure, culture and tourism, said: “Each of our leisure sites is different and we have been working on detailed plans with the operators of each site to ensure that they can reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.
“Things will be different but this is the first step in a phased reopening of our leisure facilities.
“We are doing all we can with our partners to provide leisure services.
“There is no doubt that the pandemic has been challenging for this sector and we urge the Government to listen to groups like #saveleisure who are calling for urgent additional funding to secure the future of our facilities and our nation’s health.”
Community Leisure UK, ukactive and CIMSPA are calling for ring-fenced funding to overcome the enormous financial impact of the pandemic.
Without this funding, 48 per cent of all public leisure facilities could face closure, meaning the loss of 1,300 centres by the end of the year, along with more than 58,000 jobs.
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