No dates confirmed for reopening of swimming pools in Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 05:28 11 July 2020
Dates for the reopening of swimming pools in Suffolk are still under wraps after leisure centres were told they could welcome members back from July 25.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced at a press conference on July 9 that leisure facilities including gyms and swimming pools could reopen as soon as July 25.
All facilities that reopen have to follow stringent new legislation to ensure people can remain safe while Covid-19 remains a threat to the public.
Abbeycroft Leisure, who operate leisure centres for West Suffolk Council, have said they are putting the “final touches” to their plans and want to welcome people back “as soon as it is safe to do so”.
The not-for-profit organisation operates centres in Brandon, Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill, Mildenhall and Newmarket.
Abbeycroft Leisure CEO Warren Smyth said: “We are planning a phased reopening of our centres and services and will let you know more in the coming days detailing the specific arrangements for the facilities you use.
“As you may expect not everything will be open to begin with but this will be under regular review taking account of government guidance, liaison with our stakeholders and customer feedback.”
West Suffolk Council leader, John Griffiths, added: “This is another milestone and helping people keep fit and active as well as getting back to more familiar routines, which I know many have been waiting for.
“For those who need to self-isolate, or indeed those who may wish to wait longer before using leisure facilities, the popular online activities will still be available.”
What about swimming pools elsewhere in Suffolk?
Babergh and Mid Suffolk leisure facilities are currently closed.
Anselm Gurney, contract manager for Everyone Active who operate centres in Mid Suffolk, said: “After being closed for nearly four months, this good news is what the leisure industry has been eagerly awaiting.
“We’re currently liaising with all our local authority partners – including Mid Suffolk District Council - on the specific plans for reopening each of our centres.
“The dates for when we reopen Mid Suffolk Leisure Centre and Stradbroke Swim and Fitness Centre are dependent on these discussions, however we hope to be able to confirm a date soon.
“We will be in touch with all our customers very soon with the specific details and reopening plans in relation to their local centre. We thank them for their patience, and we look forward to reopening our doors soon.”
Facilities in East Suffolk are also remaining closed for now.
An East Suffolk spokesman said: “Following the government’s latest announcement, we can now start the process of preparing our leisure facilities to reopen.
“This will require a lot of planning, and we will be working closely with our leisure operators to ensure we are taking every step to make sure we can re-open as safely as possible, and make it a good experience for both users and staff.”
Ipswich Borough Council were approached for comment, however the most recent statement from the council says the leisure facilities will remain closed until further notice.
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