Staffordshire Moorlands leisure centres set for phased re-opening

LEISURE centres across the Staffordshire Moorlands are set to start a phased re-opening from Saturday 25 July with measures in place to ensure they are Covid-secure.

Staffordshire Moorlands District Council and its leisure partner Lex Leisure have worked together to ensure the centres at Biddulph, Cheadle and Leek are safe for users and staff and are looking forward to re-opening gyms and re-starting classes, initially with reduced numbers of participants and opening hours, from this weekend.

In order to offer the best customer experience possible whilst restrictions on numbers are in place, all users will need to book their session or class via the leisure centre app or at leisurecentre.com

This will help manage the number of people in the buildings at any one time and also facilitate track and trace if required. Casual users will not be able to just turn up for the time being.

Other changes users can expect include:

·         All customers are asked to come changed and ready to take part in their activity or session as changing rooms will not be open during this initial phase of re-opening

·         To provide as much variety of group exercise classes as possible sports halls will be used in addition to studios for exercise classes

·         Additional signage, hand sanitiser gel stations and Perspex screens at receptions have been installed alongside other safety and enhanced cleaning measures

Councillor Mark Deaville, Deputy Council Leader and cabinet member Leisure and Sports, said: "We know people have really missed being able to come to leisure centres and take part in the physical activity that was so much a part of their lives before the lockdown so it's great news that our leisure centres will be re-opening on a phased basis.

"Being active and moving more has so many benefits for both and physical and mental health and, for many people, this period has brought into focus the importance of looking after ourselves in this way and enhancing our wellbeing.

"People can be absolutely assured that our leisure centres are completely safe - we and our leisure partners Lex Leisure have enhanced cleaning and hygiene systems in place to keep everyone safe. There will obviously be some changes and we thank people in advance for co-operating with these changes to allow these much-valued facilities to start to re-open."

The swimming pools will not re-open at the same time with plans being made for the pools at Biddulph Valley and South Moorlands leisure centres to re-open in early August.

The pool at Brough Park Leisure Centre will remain closed for a longer period to allow for planned structural maintenance works to the pool hall to take place.

These essential works, which include reinforcing the steel column bases and beams and the replacement of the hall windows, were due to take place earlier this year but were delayed due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

As the restrictions continue to ease, contractors are now able to come on site so these works can now progress.

Councillor Deaville added: "Swimmers will obviously be keen to return to the water but it is essential that we can provide a safe environment for them to do that. Aside from the need to ensure the facility is Covid-secure, we had planned to carry out essential maintenance and as restrictions continue to ease the good news is that we can now get on with those works.

"It won't be too much longer now before we can welcome pool users back and I'd like to thank them for their ongoing patience during this difficult period for us all."

More information about online booking, opening hours and what users can expect is available at www.leisurecentre.com/welcome-back


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