Wealden District Council has secured a third of a million pounds to support the re-opening of their four leisure centres, including the one at Goldsmiths in Crowborough.
The £330,000 grant is from the National Leisure Recovery Fund. It has been made available to local authorities in England through the Government’s £100 million fund to support local leisure facilities.
Councillor Philip Lunn, Cabinet member for Community & Public Health said:
Leisure centres play an important role in keeping our communities healthy and happy. Physical activity is vital to our wellbeing.
These past months have been tough for Freedom Leisure and its staff. Lockdown meant its centres had to close after successfully re-opening last July. This money will help with the recovery and ensure its outdoor and indoor fitness and wellbeing programmes can restart as soon as Government regulations allow. With spring coming, now is a great time to get out and get fit again.Cllr Lunn
Local authorities in England who hold responsibility for the provision of leisure services, and have outsourced their leisure provision to an external body, could apply to the National Leisure Recovery Fund.
The core objectives of the Fund are to:
- Support the reopening of public sector leisure facilities and activities following the second period of national restrictions in England.
- Provide the best chance of recovery to a position of sustainable operation over the medium to long term.
- Sustain the delivery of activities (such as swimming) that aren’t widely accessible in the private market.
- Enhance health and wellbeing and support physical activity across England – contributing to the government’s objectives around healthy lifestyles, reducing obesity and reducing inequality.
Freedom Leisure runs four leisure centres on behalf of Wealden District Council at Crowborough, Uckfield, Hailsham and Heathfield. The funds will further help to deliver many activities such as swimming and specialist services such as the GP referral programme that are not widely accessible in the private sector.
Ivan Horsfall-Turner, Managing Director at Freedom Leisure said:
The last year has been a significant challenge for the leisure industry and our role in providing the local communities across Wealden with access to health, fitness and wellbeing opportunities has never been more important. The funding secured with Wealden District Council will help us to reopen and get back to delivering a vital service to their residents and visitors.Ivan Horsfall-Turner, Managing Director at Freedom Leisure
According to the Government’s “Roadmap out of Lockdown“, indoor leisure facilities, such as gyms will be permitted to reopen (but only for use by people on their own or in household groups) in Step 2 (not before 12th April). Step 3 (not before 17th May) will include indoor adult group sports and exercise classes.