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Sport England grant to help reopen leisure centre in Grantham

"The wait is almost over" for those wanting to use the leisure centres in Grantham and throughout South Kesteven.

South Kesteven District Council has received £300,000 towards the cost of reopening the centres after a successful application to Sport England’s national leisure recovery fund.

Coun Barry Dobson (Con - Dole Wood), chairman of LeisureSK Ltd, the council-owned company that runs South Kesteven’s leisure centres, said it was 'fantastic news', adding: "Our residents have been waiting a long time for our gyms, swimming pools and other sports facilities to reopen, and the wait is almost over.

The Meres leisure centre in Grantham
The Meres leisure centre in Grantham

“The grant will help ensure we can reopen promptly and with the greatest possible choice of covid-secure activities on offer at our centres in Grantham, Stamford, Bourne and Deepings.”

Although dates could change based on updated Government guidance, outdoor sport is set to resume from March 29 from when the 3G pitch at the Meres Leisure Centre, Grantham, and grass pitches at Deepings Leisure Centre will be available for bookings. At that point access will not be allowed to the buildings.

Leisure centres can reopen from April 12 and all four in South Kesteven will do so on that date when gyms and swimming pools will be back in use, which will include swim schools, swimming clubs and casual swimming.

Numbers will be limited and all activities must be booked.

Sports halls, cafés and indoor group exercise will not be allowed under Government guidance for this phase of reopening but LeisureSK Ltd’s online exercise classes will continue.

From May 17 indoor sport and group exercise can resume and from June 21 there will be no legal limit on social contact and the leisure centres will be fully reopen.

Coun Kelham Cooke (Con - Casewick), leader of South Kesteven District Council, said: “We know how much residents value the leisure facilities we provide in support of both physical and mental health and we plan to bring them back without delay in line with the dates outlined in Government guidance.

“Our grant application included a recovery plan that provided details of how our centres would be able to reopen and the level of activities to be offered and I’m absolutely delighted we were able to secure such a significant sum.”

Coun Adam Stokes (Con - Grantham Springfield), cabinet member for finance and resources, said: “The £100 million National Recovery Fund was established to support the reopening of public sector leisure facilities following the national lockdown.

“We are all looking forward to further easing of lockdown restrictions and the £300,000 secured by the district council means our leisure facilities will be ready to open as soon as they are able to do so.”

Information gathered throughout the leisure centre reopening phases will be evaluated to provide insight into the performance, sustainability and social value of the leisure industry.

  • Covid-19 vaccinations are scheduled to continue at the Meres in Grantham until August, which means there will be minor disruption to a small number of activities there.

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