£340,000 of funding has been secured to enable Alive West Norfolk sport and leisure centres to reopen in a Covid secure and safe way and to provide some new activities to encourage people back to the centres and to support them on the journey to a healthy, more active lifestyle.
Sport England, on behalf of the Government, has distributed £100m to support local authority leisure provision through the National Leisure Recovery Fund. The Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk and Alive West Norfolk applied to the fund and have been awarded £340,000.
The funding will be used to support the reopening of Alive Lynnsport, Alive Downham Leisure, Alive Oasis and Alive St James, ensuring that they are Covid secure including sanitisation, additional cleaning, social distancing measures, reduced capacities, clear signage and clear customer information providing customers with the confidence to return.
Neil Gromett, Managing Director of Alive West Norfolk, said: “The COVID pandemic has hit many industries hard, and the leisure industry is no exception. This fund goes some way to support us during what has been a very challenging time for leisure providers.
“Clearly, we still have to await confirmation that re-opening can take place as set out in the Government’s Covid Recovery Roadmap. Fingers crossed we should be able to provide some outdoor sports provision from 29 March, which will mean we can look at opening the tennis courts, football pitches, and outdoor gym equipment.
“If all goes to plan, then Alive West Norfolk indoor facilities will open with a phased approach from the 12 April 2021, meaning that we can re-open the gyms, pools, sports halls, and hopefully group sessions after that.”
Cllr Elizabeth Nockolds, Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk Cabinet Member for Culture, Heritage and Health, said: “For some people, the pandemic and associated lockdowns has encouraged them to take up healthy activities such as cycling, walking, and even online exercise classes, but for many, it has meant they haven’t been able to access their preferred activities such as swimming or badminton, or using the equipment in the gym.
“This funding will mean that we can reopen our facilities once the Government announces that we can, and we can ensure that they are safe for all users. Our aim will be to encourage people to continue, get back to or take up a healthy lifestyle as all the research shows that a lower BMI means that the risks of the virus are reduced. This goes alongside existing and accepted knowledge that shows the health benefits of regular exercise.”
“I know our leisure teams are keen to get everything ship-shape and welcome customers old and new to the facilities in Downham Market, Hunstanton, and King’s Lynn.”
All the latest information about which facilities are open visit www.alivewestnorfolk.co.uk.