Ipswich sports centres and pools get ready to welcome back customers

Badminton at Whitton Sports Centre

Indoor sports like badminton can resume at Whitton from Monday - but will need to be booked in advance. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Ipswich council sports centres and swimming pools are being prepared to be reopened to the public next Monday as part of the latest easing of lockdown.

And the Ipswich Park and Ride bus service is due to resume - giving people the chance to get to the town centre after leaving their cars at Copdock or Martlesham.

From April 12 people are able to use indoor sports facilities as individuals or as part of a family group - so some services are reopening at Whitton Sports Centre, Crown Pools, Fore Street Baths, and Ransomes Sports Pavilion.

Outdoor facilities at Gainsborough Sports Centre were able to reopen at the end of March - but the centre itself is still being used as a vaccination centre so it is not available for indoor sport.

Whitton Sports Centre is re-opening with an outdoor fitness class programme, gym slots and badminton court hire.

The two swimming pools are reopening for public lane swimming, swimming lessons and club/private hire. Crown pools will also be open for family swimming and gym slots.

Outdoor facilities re-opened on 29 March for club hire. This included the all-weather and grass pitches at Whitton and Gainsborough sports centres and Ransomes, as well as the athletics track at Northgate Sports Centre.

Andrew Wilesmith at Whitton Sports Centre

Andrew Wilesmith is looking forward to welcoming customers back to Ipswich's sporting facilities. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

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Andrew Wilesmith, operations manager for Sports & Leisure at Ipswich Borough Council, said: “We are excited to be able to open our doors and welcome back customers to our facilities.

“It has been a very strange time for our staff, particularly those who have been redeployed to other areas to help with the Covid-19 response or continued to maintain empty pools and gyms.

“All our Covid-Secure measures remain in place – including one-way systems, cleaning schedules and social distancing - so customers can be sure that they can get active again safely.

“If you’re planning on visiting, remember that all activities must be booked and paid for online in advance – booking for next week is now available on our website.”

Park and Ride - operated by First Eastern Counties - resumes on Monday with the same number of services as usual, although the buses will have lower capacity to ensure people can observe social distancing. All users will have to wear face coverings unless they are covered by exemptions.

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