Trafford Leisure, which runs leisure facilities across the borough, is preparing its venues for a phased reopening from the 27th July 2020.
Move Urmston, Stretford Leisure Centre, Altrincham Leisure Centre and Sale Leisure Centre will be the first to reopen on the 27th July, when pre-booked activities, including the gym, swimming and group exercises will be available to members, including those who froze their membership during lockdown.
Activities will be available to the wider community, through its pay and play scheme, from the 6th August.
The Grammar, Partington Sports Village, Stretford Talbot and OT Sports Barn will remain temporarily closed, with Trafford Leisure expecting to be in a position to reopen and safely operate these facilities within government guidelines from September.
In the meantime members of these venues will be able to use the facilities and utilise the activities available at Trafford Leisure’s other leisure centres.
During the pandemic, George H Carnall leisure centre has been repurposed for the benefit of the community by the NHS Manchester Foundation Trust. For the foreseeable future the trust will continue to operate some of its key services for the residents of Trafford from this location.
In the meantime George H Carnall members are encouraged to use the new Move Urmston leisure centre or they can choose to continue to have their membership frozen.
Jo Cherrett, COO, Trafford Leisure says: “We look forward to welcoming our customers back in a phased way and to recommence some of our activities, helping to put health and wellbeing at the heart of our community. A managed and staggered reopening allows us to put the safety of both our staff and customers first.
“Trafford Leisure offers so many activities and programmes for a huge variety of people, including swimming lessons, gymnastics, group exercise classes and sports clubs, as well as the gym itself. All our customers are valued and important, and all are being considered in how we best reopen the leisure centres, whilst adhering to the revised health and safety guidelines. Reopening our doors to all our customers safely is taking patience, effort and we remain positive that financial support from the government will still follow. We want to be able to fully run the programmes and activities our community need and this will help us all become more resilient and stronger in facing this global pandemic now and in the future. We want everyone to feel secure in visiting us, and to come back stronger, in an ever changing environment.”
Cllr Liz Patel, Executive Member for Culture and Leisure at Trafford Council, says: “We are delighted that leisure facilities in Urmston, Stretford, Sale and Altrincham will soon be back open for residents to enjoy. Health and wellbeing is a key priority for the Council and the wide range of facilities and classes our leisure centres offer will give both adults and children lots of options to get active after lockdown.
“In the current absence of extra government funding for the leisure sector, the Council has agreed to invest almost £1 million into our leisure centres to keep them running for our communities, demonstrating our commitment to retaining these important and popular facilities.”
Trafford Leisure is working closely with UKactive and sports governing bodies to ensure operational reopening decisions are based on scientific evidence and guidance, with revised social distancing measures and a thorough cleaning regime in place. Trafford Leisure will be asking customers to be respectful of other people in the facilities and will be restricting visitor numbers and providing hand sanitising stations and additional cleaning pods for wiping down equipment after use.
Trafford Leisure will be updating customers on how the leisure centres will operate via a series of emails, a ‘what to expect’ video and a frequently asked questions hub, as well providing specific advice for swimming lessons and its sports club customers.
Throughout lockdown, Trafford Leisure has run valuable live online classes on its social media platforms, to keep people exercising during the pandemic, and has committed to continuing these online services for the community, to help reach people who are shielding or apprehensive about returning to their leisure centre.
Jo Cherrett concludes: “I would like to remind you of what Chris Whitty, the Government’s Chief Medical Officer, recently said – ‘there is no situation, no age, no condition, where exercise is not a good thing’.
“We are committed to getting Trafford moving again, at a time when fitness is even more important for our physical and mental wellbeing.”