Funding support for leisure centres to help recovery

Published Wednesday 24 March 2021

Leisure centres in the Harborough district, which are set to reopen after lockdown, are set to benefit from Government funding announced this week.

Harborough District Council has received £160,000 from the Government to help support Harborough Leisure Centre and Lutterworth Sports Centre which have been financially impacted by the coronavirus lockdowns.  Part of this funding will also benefit Broughton Astley’s leisure centre.

Lutterworth Sports CentreIt follows additional investment agreed by Harborough District Council to leisure operator Everyone Active, in July 2020, to allow Harborough Leisure Centre and Lutterworth Sports Centre (pictured) to reopen following the first coronavirus lockdown.

The national lockdowns have placed many leisure centres across the country under pressure as income streams effectively ceased, whilst ongoing maintenance costs continued.

This week it was announced that the Government has allocated £100 million to 266 local authorities across England, to support the recovery of publicly-owned leisure centres and gyms.

The National Leisure Recovery Fund, funded by the Government and managed by Sport England, aims to provide a solid platform for the leisure sector to successfully reopen.

As part of the roadmap, the Government has said that outdoor sports and leisure facilities, and organised outdoor sport, can begin again from 29 March 2021, and indoor leisure facilities and gyms can reopen, with strict operational measures in place, from 12 April 2021.

Cllr Simon Whelband, Harborough District Council’s Cabinet lead for wellbeing and communities, said: “The national lockdowns have had a huge impact on the leisure sector and created a significant financial challenges, so this funding is very welcome. It is important residents are able to improve their physical and mental health, through exercise and physical activity, and we will be working closely with our leisure centres to ensure this funding supports their recovery and increases opportunities for residents.”

Tim Hollingsworth, Sport England Chief Executive, said: “Leisure facilities have a vital role to play in supporting the health of the nation and in serving our more disadvantaged communities. They have been hit especially hard over the past year, so this investment is crucial and will help thousands to reopen when it becomes possible to do so – supporting the recovery and helping people get back to the activity they have badly missed.”

Harborough Leisure Centre and Lutterworth Sports Centre are owned by Harborough District Council and managed by sports and leisure operator Everyone Active.