Proposal to open more indoor leisure and sports facilities  

Residents may soon be able to visit more leisure centres in Brighton & Hove. 

Councillors will be asked to agree to a phased re-opening of facilities at a Special Policy & Resources Committee on 14 August.
 
The proposal is to open Portslade Sports Centre and Stanley Deason Leisure Centre from 1 September, with Moulsecoomb Community Leisure Centre and St Luke’s Swimming Pool to follow on 1 October.
 
Withdean Sports Complex re-opened on 27 July. Most of the King Alfred Leisure facilities will be available from 15 August, with the swimming pool opening on 17 August.
 
Prince Regent Swimming Complex will remain closed for the time being as major Health and Safety works are underway to replace the ventilation system which is over 30 years old. During lockdown LED improvements to the main pool lighting has already been able to be completed.

Financial proposals

To assist Freedom Leisure who manage the centres on our behalf we are also proposing to extend their contract – due to end next March, for three years and waive the management fee from July 2020 to March 2021. 
 
Councillor Marianna Ebel, joint chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture Committee, said: “We know how valued our community leisure centres are and how much they have been missed during the lockdown. 
 
“Looking after our health, both mental and physical has been given new meaning during these challenging times but leisure centre operators across the country are facing a very difficult financial situation. In the light of this we are doing all we can to safely open facilities and enable them to keep open for our residents.”
 
Due to the council’s financial position we are unable to offer financial support, but the measures proposed will help to spread the cost over a longer period.
 
Leisure centres were allowed to re-open from 25 July but many still remain closed across the country. Industry associations such as Community Leisure UK are continuing to press for government support for public leisure centres.

Keeping people safe

Safety is a top priority for visitors and staff. This means leisure centres are more expensive to run, with extra cleaning and fewer people able to use our facilities at any one time.
 Watch Freedom Leisure’s film about how staff are making sports, leisure and swimming safe for visitors.

Our leisure service also includes three paddling pools and The Level Water play feature which will remain closed. All are free to use and have no access control in a small area which means we cannot control numbers to meet physical distancing in line with guidance to keep everyone safe. Guidance comes from the government, the Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group (PWTAG) and Swim England.  

On warm summer days pools and water play sites are incredibly popular and the measures that would be required to keep them open are not practical or financially viable to introduce.  

More about the meeting

You can virtually attend the Policy & Resources Committee on Friday, 14 August through the council’s webcast and read the reports to be discussed. (The Sports Facilities Contract Extension is agenda item 54)

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