Leisure centres in Market Harborough and Lutterworth will re-open after council sends cash

Leisure centres in Market Harborough and Lutterworth are to re-open on Saturday (August 1) after councillors acted to plough in more ratepayers’ cash

Wednesday, 29th July 2020, 1:39 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th July 2020, 1:40 pm
Lutterworth Leisure Centre.

The twin complexes will finally be thrown back open to people as Harborough District Council hands over extra money to support leisure operator Everyone Active.

Market Harborough Leisure Centre and Lutterworth Sports Centre will re-open “following the huge challenges of the recent national lockdown introduced due to the coronavirus pandemic”.

The crippling four-month lockdown has left many embattled leisure operators battling to survive as income dried up but the cost of maintaining facilities continued.

Social distancing measures being imposed to restrict the number of customers using a facility at any one time will also cut revenue.

Recommendations from Harborough council cabinet’s meeting of Monday July 6, adjourned to Tuesday July 14, to provide urgent measures were agreed by the council on Monday July 27.

The authority said it was vital to re-open leisure centres as quickly as possible to allow people to take part in a wide range of physical activity.

Cllr Simon Whelband, Harborough council’s cabinet lead for Wellbeing, Communities & Housing, said: “This devastating pandemic has impacted on so many sectors – particularly the leisure industry – and it was agreed we should offer extra support at this time.

“We’ve heard on the national news this week the importance of exercise, particularly at this time.

“I am pleased that we have been able to help leisure centres re-open and once again show we are committed to working together to improve the health and wellbeing of local people.”

Cllr Phil Knowles, who leads Harborough council’s Liberal Democrats, said: ''The pandemic has hit the leisure industry hard and with it many important facilities for the wider community who gain enjoyment, wellbeing and health benefits both physical and mental.

“This crucial step will see the leisure centres re-opening their doors and we welcome that.”

Everyone Active runs Market Harborough Leisure Centre and Lutterworth Sport Centre on behalf of Harborough council.

Other local authorities whose leisure centres are managed by Everyone Active are also considering whether to provide additional financial support.

Everyone Active said: “We’re really looking forward to re-opening our doors and welcoming all our customers and colleagues back to our centres.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received - and we’re delighted to see that many of you have been remaining active whilst on lockdown.”

Take part in online physical activity sessions at www.everyoneactive.com/workout-plans