Leisure centres in the Braintree District set for phased reopening next week
Plan for reopening leisure centres agreedPublished: Friday, 31st July 2020
Fusion Lifestyle leisure centres will reopen in a phased way next week (from August 3) following confirmation of financial support by Braintree District Council.
At a special meeting of Cabinet held earlier this afternoon (July 31) councillors considered and agreed to Fusion’s plan for reopening.
Fusion Lifestyle will now contact its customers to welcome them back to the centres, while setting out the measures in place to keep their customers and their staff safe.
Carl Bentley, Regional Business Manager for Fusion Lifestyle, said: “We would like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding over the last few months. We are really looking forward to welcoming back our customers, members and groups. Being active has never been more important following lockdown and to make sure people can improve their mental and physical health. I would like to thank Braintree District Council for responding so swiftly to our request for reopening and financial support. The Fusion team is eager to welcome customers back safely.”
Fusion will update its social media and website with everything customers need to know. Customers can check out Fusion’s website particularly the handy frequently asked questions which will help customers understand all the new operating protocols to ensure every centre is Covid secure. The FAQs can be found here.
Cllr Peter Tattersley, Braintree District Council’s Cabinet Member for Health & Wellbeing said: “We have fantastic swimming pools, gyms and sports facilities in our district and a lot of hard work has gone into reopening them. Like many other leisure centre providers, Fusion has been particularly hit by the consequences of the lockdown, lack of government financial support and the anticipated reduction of footfall in the next few month. I am pleased we’ve been able to support Fusion through this unprecedented time. These facilities are vital to local communities and the physical and mental wellbeing of our residents. We will continue to lobby the government hard for similar financial compensation for leisure operators that many other sectors have received.”
There will be a number of measures in place to keep both the centre users and staff safe. Fusion Lifestyle, a registered charity, will follow all guidance from central government and national governing bodies such as UKactive and Swim England.
These measures will include additional signage, one way systems, additional sanitisation and a booking system for all activities which will enable the centres to support the government’s NHS Test and Trace service.
Customers will need to register and book online or on the Fusion app.
In order to help customers to observe strict social distancing measures, gym and group exercise equipment will be spaced out around the centres and different areas of the centre may be used to provide additional space. Government guidance will however limit the number of participants able to take part in activities.
The phased reopening is set out below:
Monday 3rd August 2020:
• Braintree Sport and Health - OPEN for gym and Group Exercise
• Witham Leisure Centre - OPEN for gym and Group Exercise
• Halstead Leisure Centre - OPEN for gym and Group Exercise
Monday 10th August 2020:
• Witham Leisure Centre - OPEN for adult lane swimming only. See Swim England guidance.
Monday 7th September 2020:
• Braintree Swim & Fitness - OPEN for adult lane swimming only and its gym reopens.
• Halstead Leisure Centre - OPEN for adult lane swimming only.
To make booking and entering the centre easier Braintree District residents may want to consider joining their local centre and full details can be found on Fusion’s websites set out below:
Find The Right Membership For You:
Braintree Sport and Health
Halstead Leisure Centre
Witham Leisure Centre
How to make a Booking:
Please use these links to register and log in. The options to join now and book now can be found at the top right hand side of the website.
Braintree Sport and Health
Halstead Leisure Centre
Witham Leisure centre
- View the Cabinet papers from today’s meeting here.
- National guidance for grassroots sport and gym/leisure facilities can be found here.
- Swim England has published its comprehensive Return to Pools Guidance. It can be read here: www.swimming.org/swimengland/pool-return-guidance-documents
- Advice and guidance for the physical activity sector can be found here: www.ukactive.com/covid-19
- At a Council meeting in February 2020 the agreed budget recommendations included authority for the portfolio holder to review fees and charges in line with the contract with Fusion. This was subsequently agreed but was not enacted as the Leisure Centres were closed and staff furloughed before these were due to increase. These will be enacted now as part of the plans for re-opening. These increases are in line with the CPI (Consumer Price Indices) such as a 10p rise for adult swimming, a 20p rise on a casual gym sessions and £1 rise on the hire of sports hall.
- Previous press releases avialble here: Councillors to discuss plan to reopen leisure centres in the Braintree District and Council considers additional financial support which could enable leisure provider to open up leisure centre facilities