Proposals are being developed to reopen Thornton and Garstang leisure centres, once government guidance allows, thanks to additional funding by Wyre Council.

Leisure centres across the country have been closed during the Coronavirus pandemic. Government has not yet indicated when they may safely open again. As a result, this crisis is having an unprecedented financial and operational impact on the centres, which will inevitably affect the future operation of the facilities in Wyre. The council has been working with the YMCA to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and support a sustainable future for the leisure centres by committing, in principle, to fund over £630,000 of costs in 2020/21. This additional funding will allow the YMCA to initially reopen leisure centres in Thornton and Garstang, once government guidance allows.

The proposals outline plans to have a phased re-opening with facilities at Thornton and Garstang opening as soon as practically possible. The Fleetwood and Poulton facilities will remain closed for now but this will be kept under review.

John Cronin, CEO at YMCA Fylde Coast comments, “We have worked closely with Wyre Council to put proposals together that will allow us to reopen the centres in a way that is viable for the foreseeable future. If approved, these proposals would mean that YMCA staff will be impacted, so we are working hard to ensure we safeguard as many jobs as possible.

“Moving forward customer safety will be paramount and is something we are taking extremely seriously. Enhanced cleaning provisions and strict social distancing measures will be in place at the centres once they reopen and of course government guidance will be followed at all times.

“All membership fees will remain frozen during this period and once a decision has been made regarding the reopening of facilities, we will be contacting members regarding their membership options.”

Councillor Lynne Bowen, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Health and Community at Wyre Council comments, “To facilitate the reopening of these centres, the council has made a considerable financial commitment and we hope that the community will continue to support the leisure centres when they are able to reopen.

“In reopening the Thornton and Garstang centres both our urban and rural populations would have access to facilities without having to travel too far. We look forward to welcoming customers once again.”