Leisure centres directly operated by Shropshire Council will be remaining closed from 25 July 2020 ahead of taking a phased approach to reopening the sports/fitness centres when it is safe to do so.
The decision follows the recent government announcement that indoor leisure facilities could reopen from Saturday 25 July, 2020.
Shropshire Council directly operates five leisure facilities – Bishop’s Castle (SpArC), Church Stretton Sports Centre, Much Wenlock Leisure Centre, Roman Road Sports Centre and Idsall Sports Centre though a date for re-opening has not yet been confirmed.
While it has been possible to put some safety measures in place, there are a lot of technical issues that will take longer to solve and must be resolved before we can reopen facilities. This is following the latest guidance issued by the government.
Shropshire Council have signed up to the Fit Together campaign based on the Government’s guidelines for reopening, which were supported by fitness trade body ukactive and approved by independent scientific advisors.
One way systems and clear safety information signs will be put in place at all sites, including in changing rooms, onto poolside, into the pool and exiting the pool and building where appropriate
For example, group exercise classes will be relocated to sports halls from small dance studios with social distancing areas clearly marked out.
Fitness equipment may also be moved to halls and other suitable large spaces so that as many pieces of equipment can be used as possible to ensure compliance with 2m social distancing
Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council Cabinet member for culture, leisure, waste and communications, said: “Following the recent Government announcement, our staff are working hard to get our facilities open as soon and as safely as possible. The latest guidance provided by the government has thrown up some challenges for the leisure sector as a whole, not just for Shropshire Council so it may take a little longer to re-open facilities than we would have hoped.
“We want our customers and staff to feel safe when we reopen. A number of measures will be in place including social distancing, enhanced cleaning and hand sanitiser will be made available. When our leisure centres are ready to reopen, they will look a little different and no doubt feel a bit strange.
“We fully appreciate that people have been waiting a long time to access their local leisure facilities, but it is crucial that we get things right. We’re looking forward to safely welcoming people back, but please be patient.”
Leisure centres managed by Shropshire Council and by private sector partners have been closed since March due to the coronavirus lockdown imposed by the government.
Shropshire Council is awaiting updated guidance from sports national governing bodies to allow for outdoor activity including hockey, football and multi-sport activities. For now, these activities will not be available.