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Lewisham to reopen leisure centres from October

A phased reopening of Lewisham’s leisure centres and swimming pools will start from October 2020.
We are keeping COVID-secure measures in place across our buildings to protect our staff, residents and visitors

Please continue to wear a face covering if you can and maintain social distance in our buildings. This includes our libraries, leisure centres and learning centres.

You can read the Government's current COVID-19 guidlines on its website.

It is anticipated four leisure centres will open in the coming weeks starting with Glassmills, Forest Hill Pools and Ladywell Arena in October and Wavelengths in November. Reopening dates will be announced early October.

Our new partner, GLL is in the process of undertaking an assessment of centres. The majority of leisure centres in the borough have been closed for over six months. Downham Health & Leisure Centre, which his operated by 1Life, opened with limited services in July 2020.

GLL look forward to welcoming back the dedicated Lewisham team and is ready to start work on each of these centres to ensure that facilities are ready to welcome customers back safely. Following the long closure, necessary maintenance and deep cleaning will be undertaken as quickly as possible. All staff will be trained on the new ways of working and rules to keep everyone safe during the continued COVID-19 restrictions.

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. The Council and GLL will be undertaking assessments at the other centres during October and further details will be released then.

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

“Many people have been in touch eager to return to activities and use our leisure facilities. We very much share this enthusiasm, we want to thank everyone for their patience. We are delighted to announce that plans are well underway to safely reopen four of our leisure centres in the next couple of months.

“We cannot underestimate just how challenging the economic circumstances are for the leisure sector. The success of our leisure centres hinges on Lewisham residents feeling confident to return for a workout, a swim, to join an exercise class or participate in sport.

“Public swimming pools up and down the country are in desperate need of financial help and the #SaveLeisure campaign presents sensible suggestions for government funding to secure a sustainable future for facilities.”

Mark Sesnan, CEO of GLL said:

"We are looking forward to bringing our extensive experience successfully operating public leisure services to our new Lewisham partnership.

"Our Charitable Social Enterprise brings significant benefits for customers, council and staff - whose feedback we will be seeking as we open our leisure programmes going forward.

"Customers and staff can have complete assurance that your centres will be COVID-19 secure - with one way systems, social distancing and enhanced cleaning regimes in place."

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