Doors open at Council leisure facilities
Facilities at public leisure centres across Buckinghamshire began a phased programme of reopening from last weekend, enabling local residents to get back into the gym after four months of lockdown.
The Council’s partners who run the centres across the county, Everyone Active, GLL and Places Leisure, have been busy making all the necessary arrangements and putting the required safeguards in place.
While eight leisure centres are reopening, Chesham and Chalfont St Peter will remain temporarily closed so major refurbishments and improvements to facilities can take place. Members of those two centres will still be able to use the facilities at Amersham, as well as at other Everyone Active facilities at centres across Dacorum, Slough, Aylesbury and Three Rivers, while the works take place.
Buckinghamshire Council Cabinet Member for Sports and Leisure, Clive Harriss said he was delighted to see people back in the centres. “This has been a long time coming but it’s great to now see public leisure facilities opening their doors once again, ready to serve our local communities.
“We’ve been working with our leisure operators to make sure they can open safely. This takes careful planning for each centre and therefore it may take longer to open some facilities than others, so I hope people will bear with us.”
“I’ve already seen really positive posts on social media including ‘many congratulations to the staff’, ‘thank you for your hard work’, and ‘well done guys’ which is great news for all involved in the reopening process.
“Of course, we know regular exercise and keeping your weight in check are important in helping to combat Coronavirus. While many people have taken to the streets with their own personal fitness regimes, we believe a safe environment indoors for our residents to use will be a welcome, additional incentive.”
Clive added, “Our public health is a huge driver for reopening our leisure facilities and I encourage residents to get involved in physical activity to improve their health and wellbeing, even if they’ve never tried it before. What better way to bounce back from the recent lockdown!”
Commenting on the refurbishment plans at Chesham and Chalfont, Clive said, “The work was originally due to take place between September 2020 and February 2021. However, rather than reopen these centres and close them again in September, we think it’s right to crack on with the refurbishments now. This means we can get them open quicker, hopefully by December.”
The Council says residents should expect some changes in the way they access local facilities. There will be booking-in arrangements, the need for contact details to be left securely and other changes to maintain social distancing and allow for enhanced hygiene measures, and not all facilities in each centre will be open.
Please visit the website for your local leisure centre for all the very latest information. Operators are also contacting clubs and other groups about the best ways to resume their activities.