Leisure centres in Hertsmere have received a funding lifeline as the industry prepares to open its doors again following the temporary closure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hertsmere Borough Council (HBC), working with InspireAll Leisure and Family Support Services, has successfully secured just over £190,000 from Sport England’s National Leisure Recovery Fund (NLRF) to support The Venue, Bushey Grove and Furzefield leisure centres in the borough.
The funding comes as all three centres get ready to re-open on April 12, in line with the government’s roadmap out of lockdown. Leisure centres, as with non-essential retail, hotels, pubs and restaurants were all forced to close in December when Hertfordshire moved into Tier 4 restrictions.
The centres, which are owned by HBC and managed by InspireAll, have experienced a difficult 12 months, but hopes are the robust COVID-19 safety measures in place, will encourage customers back into their gyms, swimming pools and other facilities.
Hilary Shade, the council’s head of partnerships and community engagement, said: “As we begin to emerge from the latest lockdown, I suspect that people will want and need to take part in activities again that boost and enhance their health and wellbeing.
“This funding from the Sport England’s National Leisure Recovery Fund will help us ensure that our leisure centres are ready to support people back into an active lifestyle in a safe and Covid-secure setting.
“There will be restrictions in place for a long time, but all three centres will once again soon be able to offer people a place to relax, unwind, energise and connect with others – all the things we’ve missed most during lockdown.”