North Somerset Council has been working closely with the operators of its leisure centres to get them ready to re-open safely following the Government's announcement that centres can open from Saturday (25 July).
As a result, Hutton Moor in Weston-super-Mare and Scotch Horn in Nailsea, operated by Legacy Leisure, will be opening their doors again on Saturday. They will be offering limited facilities with the swimming pools at Hutton Moor currently remaining closed.
To ensure the safety of both staff and customers the centres will not operate as they did prior to the lockdown. Numbers allowed to use the gyms and exercise classes will be managed to ensure that social distancing measures can be implemented and all sessions will need to be pre-booked. More information can be found on the centres' websites at www.leisurecentre.com.
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, who operate these centres, are in touch with customers and the exact date will be announced soon through customer emails and their 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 re-open safely. The work needing 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.
"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 re-open as soon as it is safe to do so," said Cllr Caritas Charles, the council's executive member for leisure, culture and tourism. "Things will be different but this is the first step in a phased re-opening 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.”
Further announcements will be made by the individual centres over the coming weeks on the availability of activities - keep an eye on their social media posts and websites.