£300,000 grant towards reopening three town leisure centres in Peterborough area
South Kesteven District Council has received £300,000 towards the cost of reopening its leisure centres in Peterborough area towns after a successful application to Sport England’s National Leisure Recovery Fund.
The fund was established to support the reopening of public sector leisure facilities once the latest national lockdown was over.
The money will help reopen the likes of leisure centres in Bourne, Stamford and the Deepings get back on their feet after suffering from no customers for more than two months.
The chairman of LeisureSK Ltd, the council-owned company that runs South Kesteven’s leisure centres, Coun Barry Dobson, said: “This is fantastic news for our leisure centres. Our residents have been waiting a long time for our gyms, swimming pools and other sports facilities to reopen, and the wait is almost over.
“The grant will help ensure we can reopen promptly and with the greatest possible choice of Covid-secure activities on offer at our centres in Grantham, Stamford, Bourne and Deepings.”
Although dates could change based on updated Government guidance, outdoor sport is set to resume from March 29, from when the grass pitches at Deepings Leisure Centre will be available for bookings. At that point access will not be allowed to the buildings.
Leisure centres can reopen from April 12 and all four in South Kesteven will do so on that date when gyms and swimming pools will be back in use, which will include swim schools, swimming clubs and casual swimming.
Precautions will still be in place to guard against Covid-19 which means numbers will be limited and all activities must be booked.
Sports halls, cafés and group exercise will not be allowed under Government guidance for this phase of reopening but LeisureSK Ltd’s online exercise classes will continue.
From May 17, indoor sport and group exercise can resume and from June 21 there will be no legal limit on social contact and the leisure centres will be fully reopened.
Leader of SKDC, Coun Kelham Cooke said: “We know how much residents value the leisure facilities we provide in support of both physical and mental health and we plan to bring them back without delay in line with the dates outlined in Government guidance.
“Our grant application included a recovery plan that provided details of how our centres would be able to reopen and the level of activities to be offered and I’m absolutely delighted we were able to secure such a significant sum.”
SKDC Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources, Coun Adam Stokes said: “The £100 million National Recovery Fund was established to support the reopening of public sector leisure facilities following the national lockdown.
“We are all looking forward to further easing of lockdown restrictions and the £300,000 secured by SKDC means our leisure facilities will be ready to open as soon as they are able to do so.”
Information gathered throughout the leisure centre reopening phases will be evaluated to provide an insight into the performance, sustainability and social value of the leisure industry.
COVID-19 vaccinations are scheduled to continue at the Meres until August, which means there will be minor disruption to a small number of activities there.