Leisure centres gearing up for re-opening

1:45pm - 06 April 2021

Council-run leisure centres in North Somerset will re-open on Monday 12 April, with Backwell following on Saturday 1 May.

As well as Backwell, Hutton Moor in Weston-super-Mare, Scotch Horn in Nailsea, Parish Wharf at Portishead and Strode in Clevedon will all open their doors again following the relaxing of the government's lockdown restrictions.

North Somerset Council is working closely with the operators, Legacy Leisure and Places Leisure, to get the centres ready to re-open safely with restricted access following government guidelines, offering gym sessions and swimming in the first phase of re-opening.

“I'm delighted to see our leisure centres opening their doors again,” said Cllr Mike Solomon, the council’s executive member for leisure, culture and tourism. “By improving the physical and mental wellbeing of our residents the centres play a vital role in our local communities."

Much-needed repair works and investment has been carried out across all the leisure centres to ensure they are ready for re-opening.

At Strode the changing rooms have been improved, poolside tiles replaced and structural work has been carried out and new boilers installed. Backwell has been closed for a year while extensive roof repairs and internal heating works have been carried out.   

The re-opening of the centres in April does not include Churchill Sports Centre where the council's contract with operators GLL has ended. The council is continuing to explore options for a sustainable future for the centre and is working with the local community and partners to find the best way forward. 

The council has secured £470,000 from the National Leisure Recovery Fund to support its two leisure contractors while the centres have been closed during the current lockdown. This is in addition to the financial assistance the council provided following last year's lockdowns.

"The pandemic has been a particularly challenging time for the leisure sector," said Cllr Solomon. "Working with our partners, we are doing all we can to ensure we continue to provide leisure services to our residents."