Leisure centres in Fens return to ‘almost pre-lockdown opening hours’ after safe re-opening

PUBLISHED: 12:50 01 October 2020 | UPDATED: 12:50 01 October 2020

Was this just a year ago? Forty riders in Fenland took on a spinning class as the sun went down at the George Campbell leisure centre to raise money for Magpas Air Ambulance. Picture: IAN CARTER

Was this just a year ago? Forty riders in Fenland took on a spinning class as the sun went down at the George Campbell leisure centre to raise money for Magpas Air Ambulance. Picture: IAN CARTER

Archant

Leisure centres in March, Wisbech, Chatteris and Whittlesey will return to “almost pre-lockdown opening hours” following a safe and successful re-opening.

The opening hours of Freedom Leisure centres in March, Chatteris, Whittlesey and Wisbech have been extended. Picture: SuppliedThe opening hours of Freedom Leisure centres in March, Chatteris, Whittlesey and Wisbech have been extended. Picture: Supplied

The Fenland Freedom Leisure venues had a phased reopening in July after being forced shut due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

New safety measures ensured they could reopen, and in August class capacities were increased and opening times were extended to cope with demand.

Times are now being extended again, from Monday, October 5, the new opening hours will be 7am to 9pm Monday to Friday and 8am to 2pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Cllr Sam Clark, Fenland District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Leisure, said: “We could not have hoped for a more positive comeback for the leisure centres.

Hudson Leisure Centre in Wisbech. Picture: ArchantHudson Leisure Centre in Wisbech. Picture: Archant

“Customers have been overwhelming positive and thoroughly accepting of the measures put in place to keep everyone safe, and staff have gone above and beyond to support people as they return.

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“As winter approaches, I’m pleased the centres have been able to extend their opening hours to ensure residents continue to have safe spaces to exercise as the nights draw in.”

Ivan Horsfall-Turner, managing director of Freedom Leisure, said: “We are delighted to have played a part in the safe reopening of leisure centres across the country and the response from customers has been fantastic.

George Campbell Leisure Centre in March. Picture: ArchantGeorge Campbell Leisure Centre in March. Picture: Archant

“We have seen so many people coming back to their local community leisure centres in Fenland and the further extension of opening times shows that the demand is growing.”

Across the country, the leisure operator has had over 248,000 visits to its centres since July and this continues to grow.

The soft play areas at the Hudson Leisure Centre in Wisbech and Manor Leisure Centre in Whittlesey are also reopening for the first time.

Private hire of the swimming pools and soft play areas will also be available from 2pm to 4pm at weekends.

George Campbell Leisure Centre in March. Picture: ArchantGeorge Campbell Leisure Centre in March. Picture: Archant

All leisure centres now display the NHS QR code posters, which users of the NHS COVID-19 app can scan to check-in.

Customers not using the app must still provide their contact details when using the centres for Test and Trace purposes.


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