Leisure centres across Fenland forced shut by Government in four-week Lockdown 2

PUBLISHED: 10:33 05 November 2020 | UPDATED: 10:33 05 November 2020

Freedom Leisure centres in March, Wisbech, Chatteris and Whittlesey have been forced shut during the second lockdown period. Picture: Archant Archive/Freedom Leisure

Freedom Leisure centres in March, Wisbech, Chatteris and Whittlesey have been forced shut during the second lockdown period. Picture: Archant Archive/Freedom Leisure

Archant

Leisure centres across Fenland are being forced shut during the period of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s four-week ‘Lockdown 2’.

Freedom Leisure centres in March, Wisbech, Chatteris and Whittlesey have been forced shut during the second lockdown period. Picture: Archant ArchiveFreedom Leisure centres in March, Wisbech, Chatteris and Whittlesey have been forced shut during the second lockdown period. Picture: Archant Archive

This is the second time Freedom Leisure – which has centres in March, Wisbech, Chatteris and Whittlesey - has had to close its doors this year.

Management say they are “frustrated” by the Government’s decision to keep them closed until at least Wednesday, December 2.

Ivan Horsfall Turner, Freedom Leisure managing director, said: “Now that the colder weather and darker nights are with us, our centres are more valuable than ever in providing lots of options for people to be active.

“The centre teams are also frustrated at having to close once more but are really looking forward to getting back to what they do best - making sure all our customers have the best fitness and leisure experience.”

Freedom Leisure centres in March, Wisbech, Chatteris and Whittlesey have been forced shut during the second lockdown period. Picture: Archant/FileFreedom Leisure centres in March, Wisbech, Chatteris and Whittlesey have been forced shut during the second lockdown period. Picture: Archant/File

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Councillor Sam Clark, Fenland District Council’s portfolio holder for leisure, said: “We understand the closure of our leisure centres will be a disappointment for many, and are aware of the impact this will have on centre members, staff and our communities.

“People have loved being back at their local centre and staff have been amazing in ensuring that everyone has had a great time, despite the strict Covid measures that have been implemented.

“However, we recognise that these are difficult times and will work with Freedom Leisure to reopen our centres as soon as possible so people can get back to their favourite sports and activities once again.”

Freedom Leisure has made a commitment to its customers that they will not lose out financially.

Those who pay monthly for a membership or for swimming lessons and have paid already in November will not pay anything until January 2021.

Payments due later in the month will not be collected and the next payment will be in December.

MORE: Fenland leisure centres offered ‘lifeline’ to keep them afloat

Those with a pre-paid membership will have an additional month added.

A Freedom Leisure spokesperson said: “A healthy lifestyle is an integral part of the fight against Covid-19 and the closure of leisure centres and swimming pools will impact on activity levels.

“Since reopening after the previous lockdown, Fenland’s leisure centres have welcomed lots of people back through their doors, in a Covid-secure setting.

“We look forward to December when the doors open once again and everyone can get back to exercise and enjoy some social time in a safe space.”


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