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Glass Mill leisure centre to open on 16 November 2020

Following government guidance, we are continuing the safe reopening of our leisure centres.

Glass Mill will open on Monday 16 November, Forest Hill Pools on 30 November with Wavelengths due to open in January 2021.

Ladywell Arena opened yesterday for athletics clubs with Kent Athletics Club the first to return to the track.

The Council’s new leisure partner, GLL, has started the process of a full survey of each centre including The Bridge and Bellingham which require a more comprehensive assessment.

At Glass Mill, GLL have undertaken a programme of deep cleaning and refurbishment ahead of the reopening of the main swimming pool for lane swimming, the teaching pool for swimming lessons, the gym area as well as a group exercise programme.

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, there will be reduced opening hours, significantly reduced capacity with a one-way system in place as well as changes to the layout of gym equipment to allow customers to maintain social distancing whilst exercising. New spin bikes will be available in the large, airy foyer area to make the best use of space within the centre.

Customers will be asked to book in advance of attending the centre via the BETTER app or via better.org.uk. Customers unable to access the app or website will be able to make a booking via telephone. The centre will be open 7am-9pm Monday to Friday and 7am-3pm on weekends.

Lewisham Council is absolutely committed to an accessible leisure offer for residents. The financial challenges of reopening should not be underestimated and much depends on the general public’s willingness to return to leisure centres during ongoing uncertainty due to COVID-19.

The entire leisure sector has been hit hard by the economic impact of coronavirus and across the country, local authorities and leisure centre operators are facing similar challenges.

Councillor Bourne, Cabinet member for Culture, Jobs and Skills (job share) said:

“This continues to be an extremely challenging time for the leisure sector but I’m pleased with the progress we are making and following a period of closure I’m happy to see some of our centres reopening. Staff have been working hard behind the scenes to make sure our centres are Covid compliant and I know lots of our residents will be keen to get back to using the gym and swim facilities.”

Mark Sesnan, CEO of GLL said:

"In partnership with Lewisham Council, we are looking forward to welcoming both staff and customers back to Lewisham's leisure centres. Keeping physically active is particularly important during this time and the benefits of exercise on our mental and physical health are well documented.

"We will be implementing a range of Covid-19 Secure operating practices to ensure staff and customer safety, along with a wide range of activities that offer the most comprehensive service possible within the current environment. As a charitable social enterprise, we are committed to providing all sections of the local community with the opportunity to exercise in a safe and secure setting and we hope that Lewisham residents will support us, when we reopen the doors of the borough's leisure facilities."

To find out more visit www.better.org.uk @better_uk or download the Better app.

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