Safety the priority as Renfrewshire Leisure confirms the careful restart of services at gyms and swimming pools after Covid-19 shutdown
Local leisure charity, Renfrewshire Leisure, will begin the safe and phased reopening of its leisure centres from Monday, September 14th.
Details of the plans for gyms and swimming pools have been confirmed, along with news that members will not be charged any membership fees until November. This delay to restarting payments is to cover payments made in March but has been extended to thank supporters for their loyalty as the organisation moves into a significant phase in its recovery from the lockdown triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
On September 14th, ON-X in Linwood, the Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley, Renfrew Leisure Centre, Renfrew Victory Baths, Erskine Sports Centre and Erskine Swimming Pool will reopen, complying with all Scottish Government guidance on hygiene and physical distancing.
Shared leisure facilities at Park Mains High School in Erskine and at the Johnstone Community Sports Hub will open in a second phase, with strictly controlled public access. This will involve detailed health and safety reviews and will ensure there has been sufficient time to settle pupils and staff safely back to school. Planned investment work in maintenance of the swimming pool at Johnstone means that this part of the venue will not be ready to reopen alongside other areas of the site, but will follow later.
Some outside synthetic sports pitches will reopen to pre-existing club bookings on August 31st, although changing room facilities as well as smaller pavilions and gym facilities (at Seedhill, Ferguslie and Ralston) will remain closed for now as a result of challenging physical distancing requirements. Wider bookings – which must be made by phone – will be opened from September 14th. Full details are available at www.renfrewshireleisure.com.
Entrance to indoor leisure facilities and services will be by online pre-booking of time slots only. Clearly indicated hygiene measures will be in place at each venue, with details emailed to members and customers once bookings are made. More details about the online booking system will be provided ahead of opening.
Details on restarting the Learn to Swim programme are being reviewed. An update on this will be provided shortly.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced last week that the earliest possible date from which gyms and pools could reopen was August 31st. This confirmation has allowed the Renfrewshire Leisure team to review the latest Government guidance and enter the final phase of preparations to ensure customer and employee safety.
Victoria Hollows, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “We know how eager people are to enjoy the services in our venues once again and are looking forward to welcoming members and customers back as we work to help improve residents’ wellbeing across Renfrewshire. That’s why I am so pleased that we are able to help people invest in their health by continuing our freeze on members’ direct debit payments until November.
“While arrangements at our venues will be different to that which our communities are used to, we are sure that by working together and adhering to all of the guidelines in place that the gradual restart of our services will be enjoyable for everyone.”
Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “The safe and phased restart of on-site services at our leisure centres and swimming pools is a major milestone in not only our charity’s careful route out of lockdown, but that of the communities we are proud to serve.
“Safety remains our number one priority. The dates and phased approach we have planned for the restart of our services reflect that, ensuring we will be in the strongest position to welcome people back in the safest way.”
Throughout lockdown, Renfrewshire Leisure has been operating an innovative programme of online services to help people stay fit and healthy. For more details about how to take part in them, go to www.renfrewshireleisure.com or follow the charity’s channels on social media.