We are pleased to announce that our bid for the Governmentâ€™s National Leisure Recovery Fund has been successful, resulting in a Â£220,000 grant.
This money, in addition to the Â£1 million of additional funding provided by the council, means that leisure centres across the borough can begin to reopen soon.
Launched earlier this year by Sport England, the fund was made available for public sector leisure centres to give them the best chance of recovery once restrictions are lifted.
Councillor Lynne Bowen, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Health and Community Engagement at Wyre Council comments, â€œSo far we have provided the YMCA with just under Â£1 million of additional funding since June 2020 to enable them to continue providing leisure facilities in our area. With the addition of this grant, the YMCA has now been able to develop a strategy for the phased reopening of all facilities.
â€œWe are pleased to say that on 12 April the gyms at Thornton and Garstang Leisure Centres will reopen, followed by the gym and pool at Fleetwood and the pool at Garstang on 1 May. The YMCA will keep the centre at Poulton under review, with a view to reopening it before September.
â€œThe Governmentâ€™s roadmap out of lockdown means that classes cannot resume until 17 May at the earliest and the YMCA will provide an update on their classes in due course.
â€œThere has been huge public support for the leisure centres and this now needs to translate into residents utilising the facilities. There is only a limited amount of funding available for each leisure centre so the future success will be dependent on people actually using the facilities on offer.
â€œThe vaccination programme, along with a reduction in rates in Wyre means we can be more hopeful of residents supporting these vital facilities than we wereÂ when infection rates were still rising.
â€œWe know so many people are looking forward to getting back to the gym and the pool and we look forward to welcoming back many familiar faces. New members are very welcome and staff at the centres will be happy to show people all the safety measures that have been put in place, helping you to feel safe and ready to get your fitness back on track.â€
â€œThis funding scheme was intended to give the sport and physical activity sector the best chance of sustainable operation over the medium term. Itâ€™s great news that our bid has been successful, however we are now lobbying government to reopen the fund for the 2021/22 financial year to help local leisure centres put together viable, longer term plans.â€
John Cronin, CEO at Fylde Coast YMCA comments, â€œWithout the additional funding from Wyre Council, we would not be able to open any of the centres in Wyre and this funding will now allow us to do so. We understand the importance of these centres to the health and wellbeing of local communities and the crucial role they play in keeping our local children active and helping them learn to swim. We will continue to support local communities in any way we can.
â€œWe have worked hard behind the scenes to ensure the centres are COVID-secure and a safe place to visit. We urge local communities to make full use of the facilities on offer.â€
Fylde Coast YMCA is contracted to operate the leisure centres in Wyre on behalf of the council. To keep up to date with information about reopening and membership offers go toÂ www.ymcayactive.org