Wiltshire’s leisure centres start to reopen next week

WILTSHIRE Council has confirmed that it’s planning a phased reopening of its leisure services, following recent confirmation from the Government that leisure centres can reopen with social distancing measures in place.

From 3 August, Five Rivers Health and Wellbeing Centre, Salisbury, and Springfield Community Campus, Corsham, will open their doors to the public for the first time since March 20, with customers able to initially access the fitness suite, swimming pool and group exercise classes.

Then, from August 10, the council plans to reopen Nadder Centre, Tisbury; The Vale Community Campus, Pewsey; and Devizes Leisure Centre.

Marlborough Leisure Centre will follow later in August or early September.

On August 10, a number of the sites managed on behalf of the council by Places Leisure will reopen, including The Olympiad, Chippenham; The Activity Zone, Malmesbury; Castle Place Leisure Centre, Trowbridge; Melksham Blue Pool and Warminster Sports Centre.

In September, Lime Kiln Leisure Centre, Royal Wootton Bassett; Bradford on Avon Swimming Pool; Westbury Swimming Pool; and Leighton Recreation Centre, Westbury will reopen.

Amesbury Sports Centre and Durrington Swimming and Fitness Centre will remain closed for the time being. The council is working with the MOD on the reopening of Tidworth Leisure Centre at a later date.

To manage the number of people at each centre at any given time, customers must book in advance, and follow social distancing and increased hygiene measures.

Facilities such as cafes and creches will remain closed at this stage, and due to the restrictions on group swimming it is not possible to continue with under 16s free swimming at present.

Centres will initially reopen with revised opening hours. To find out more, go to www.wiltshire.gov.uk/leisure-covid19; or for centres managed by Places Leisure, see www.placesleisure.org/wiltshire/.

Cllr Ian Blair-Pilling, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Leisure, said: “Our teams have worked hard to put the arrangements in place to be able to provide leisure services again during the pandemic. This is a new way of providing services, and we ask people to bear with us while we reopen in a careful and phased way.

“We have closely followed government advice to ensure that when each centre opens it’s as safe as possible for our staff and customers. Our friendly and attentive staff are eager to welcome people back and as time goes on we hope we can introduce more services for all to enjoy.

“For those that have to wait a little longer for us to reopen, we appreciate your patience and hope you understand that this approach takes into account our current resources and financial pressures. Our focus is on ensuring the safety of every individual at our centres and reopening in this phased way is the right way to do it.”

The decision to reopen, including the phased approach agreed, is subject to a five-day call-in period for councillors.

Salisbury Journal | News