Council and Fusion Lifestyle working in partnership to reopen leisure sites

Rochford District Council are working in partnership with Fusion Lifestyle in reopening leisure facilities across the district benefitting the health and wellbeing of residents, while ensuring COVID-19 secure measures are put in place.

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak all leisure sites, were required to close completely on Friday 20th March 2020 as part of central government advice. This has subsequently created a significant economic impact within the entire leisure sector.

A report regarding the reopening of the Rochford District leisure sites is going to a meeting of the Executive on 11 August from which subject to agreement we will move forward with our plan to get the leisure facilities up and running at the earliest opportunity.

The preferred option is that Clements Hall Leisure Centre and Rayleigh Leisure Centre will reopen in a COVID-19 secure phased approach by late August 2020 and The Mill Arts and Events Centre and Castle Hall will reopen in a COVID-19 secure phased approach by late October 2020.

The Freight House will remain closed and where possible bookings will be relocated to The Mill Arts & Events Centre and other Council facilities. If this is not possible officers will support existing users to identify other alternative local facilities.

Rochford District Council’s Portfolio Holder for the Community, Cllr Mike Webb said: “We know how important it is for our residents to get back to their health and wellbeing activities and we are working hard with Fusion so that they can open as soon as possible whilst adhering to the safety regulations concerning COVID-19.

“We want to do everything we can to support the reopening of leisure centres as soon as possible because they play an important role in the community, increasing our members physical and emotional wellbeing.”

Fusion Lifestyle’s Regional Business Manager Carl Bentley said: “We have been analysing the safety and financial challenges ahead for our leisure services.

“The COVID-19 crisis has had a huge financial impact on our sector and footfall and income is projected to be significantly down over the next year while we operate within the new guidelines.

“We know leisure facilities are really important to the health and wellbeing of thousands of people throughout the Rochford district and we want to open again as soon as possible, we know we have many loyal customers and I would like to thank them for bearing with us during this really difficult time.

“We are working with Rochford District Council to look at the options for a phased return.”