Highly valued Trafford Leisure centres prepare to reopen soon

Craig Lomas and Helena Taylor

As Trafford Leisure centres prepare to reopen, 92% of customers say they will value their centre the same or more than before lockdown

Trafford Leisure, which runs leisure facilities across the region, including Sale Leisure Centre and the newly redeveloped move Urmston, is preparing its venues for a phased reopening once the Government gives the green light and its investment and support to the leisure industry.

Trafford Leisure’s reopening strategy focuses on providing the community with safe and clean facilities, whilst making the most of its indoor and outdoor spaces. Trafford Leisure safely reopened its golf course and driving range in Altrincham last month.

Jo Cherrett, COO, Trafford Leisure says: “The reopening of our golf course and driving range has been a good experience and our revised health and safety guidelines and online bookings has played a key part in controlling visitor numbers, helping us to maintain safe spaces and social distancing. We have been planning how we can reopen our leisure centres and provide our customers with the reassurances they need to return. We look forward to welcoming our customers back and to recommence our numerous activities, helping to put health and wellbeing at the heart of our community.”

An online customer survey, carried out by Leisure-net Solutions on behalf of Trafford Leisure, revealed what was important to customers about safely returning to its leisure centres.

The findings highlight that 86% of customers want to use the leisure centres as much or more than they did prior to lockdown, and that 92% will value their leisure centre the same or more than before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Craig Lomas, General Manager, move Urmston says: “It’s fantastic to learn that our customers are keen to return, and we are receiving lots of enquires asking us for a confirmed reopening date. We really hope that some of our centres will be open from early July, but this will be wholly dependent on government advice. We hope to be able to give more details for a safely managed and phased reopening towards the end of June.

“All our customers are valued and important, and all are being considered in how we best reopen. Whist our doors have been closed, I’ve had time to reflect on just how much we miss our customers, and how much we value helping our community to get

fitter, healthier and happier. My swim and gymnastics team are keen to tell me how much they are looking forward to seeing the children again and help them develop further and to regain some of that normality we are all craving.”

The survey also told Trafford Leisure that 55% of its customers felt cleanliness and social distancing procedures will be important elements when they come back.

With this in mind, Trafford Leisure’s revised guidelines will be in place, including gym equipment being spaced out and different areas of the centres being used to give everybody space. Trafford Leisure will reduce the capacity of group exercise classes where necessary, and, where outside space is available, some classes may be held outside in the fresh air.

Trafford Leisure will be asking customers to be respectful of other people in the facilities and will be providing an enhanced cleaning regime and hand sanitising stations.

Helena Taylor, General Manager, Sale Leisure Centre, says: “We’ve missed our customers and can’t wait to see everyone again. Physical activity is even more important now and my team is ready to get everyone moving again. I’m looking forward to the day when our customers are back in our facilities: the energy, the talk, the friendships and the fun we have when we are all together. In fact, 44% of our customers said that the friendless, along with the support and guidance of our staff, will be important when they return.

“However, the survey also showed us the online classes we have been providing have allowed people to keep active whilst connecting with our expert instructors. These online services are valuable now and will be in the future too, so we will continue to provide similar online classes once we reopen; we won’t just cut these off. So if people are apprehensive about returning to our centres or are continuing to shield, the online exercise schedule will still be there to support them.”

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