Mid Sussex leisure centres will reopen on Tuesday 1 September.
PR2292/JH/JB - 20/08/2020
A special Council meeting took place on Wednesday 19 August to formally approve the new operating arrangements to ensure the leisure centres could re-open as soon as possible.
The decision to open the Kings leisure centre in East Grinstead, The Dolphin leisure centre in Haywards Heath and The Triangle leisure centre in Burgess Hill follows months of negotiations with Places Leisure, who operate the centres on behalf of the Council.
Since they were asked to close the leisure centres in March, Places Leisure have worked closely with Public Health England and the trade body ukactive to ensure the centres are able to reopen safely in line with government guidance. Councillors agreed that the Council would support reopening costs which are forecast as being potentially £2.5m in the year to April 2021.
As customers return to the leisure centres, they will notice lots of new measures in place to keep them, and leisure centre staff, safe. Signage will be in place to help people follow social distancing, there will be hand sanitising and cleaning stations, the number of people taking part in each activity will be reduced and cleaning regimes will be greatly enhanced.
Customers will be asked to book all activities in advance via the Places Locker app or the Places Leisure website. There will be a 15-30 minute changeover period between each session to allow customers time to exit their activity safely and Places Leisure staff to clean the facilities.
Councillor Jonathan Ash-Edwards, Leader of Mid Sussex District Council said:
“The Coronavirus pandemic has had a profound impact on leisure across the country and Mid Sussex’s leisure centres were not immune from this. We have worked hard with Places Leisure to find a way to reopen our three centres in a Covid-secure and financially sustainable way.
“The Council is making available a huge financial support package for leisure in Mid Sussex, potentially £2.5 million in this financial year, a level of subsidy which was not required before Coronavirus and without which the leisure centres would not reopen. Given the huge sums of money involved, which this year will come from the Council’s reserves, it is right that we have taken time to thrash out the best possible deal.
“Our leisure centres are an important part of our community and it’s fantastic that they will now be able to reopen on 1st September. I know how keen people are to get back to the gym, exercise classes and the swimming pool and I would like to thank residents for their patience while we negotiated this support package.
“Once the leisure centres are open, I hope that residents will make use of them. They are safe and the more they are used, the less the burden will be on the taxpayer. I hope that the reopening on 1st September will be another important step towards a more normal way of life”.
Steve Warriner, Places Leisure Area Manager said:
“We’re delighted that The Dolphin, Kings Centre and The Triangle will be re-opening on 1 September and we look forward to welcoming customers back to our gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools.
“You will be able to find details of our opening times, customer FAQs and a list of all our available activities on our website at www.placesleisure.org/reopening/mid-sussex.”