We were hoping to begin our phased re-opening of our leisure centres within weeks, but we are now asking customers to be patient as the enforced closure continues to have a significant impact on our organisation.
We’re backing Community Leisure UK’s – the umbrella organisation which represents non-profiting distributing leisure trusts – #saveleisure campaign to highlight that nearly half of all public leisure facilities in the UK face permanent closure by the end of the year, unless, local authorities receive urgent ring-fenced funding from the Government to overcome the enormous financial impact of the Covid-19 lockdown period and its legacy.
Emma Walker, chief executive for Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, said: “Our teams have been working hard to implement the highest health and safety measures in our centres and we have been regularly communicating with customers so that they can see what steps are in place, how they access facilities and what activities and programmes are possible with social distancing protocols in place.
“We know our customers are keen to get back to our facilities, however, we would like to appeal for patience and support while we deliver our re-opening programme – we operate 14 leisure facilities across Fife and each one is different and some will lend themselves more readily to social distancing measures than others. As a charitable trust, we hope that people will understand the huge impact that the lockdown has had on the organisation and we’d like to assure local communities we are committed to delivering accessible leisure opportunities.
“Our backing of the #saveleisure campaign demonstrates the severity of our position, and, as we manage and operate the leisure facilities on behalf of Fife Council, we are calling on it, MSPs, local councillors and other stakeholders, as well as the public, to lobby the Government for support to ensure that community leisure services have a long-term, sustainable future.”
Convener of Fife Council's Community and Housing Services Committee Cllr Judy Hamilton commented: "Funding for public sector services is much needed as we continue to recover from this crisis.
"The health and wellbeing of our communities is absolutely crucial, and the leisure sector has a vital role to play in this moving forward."
Scott Urquhart, sports and physical activity team manager for Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, added: “Our phased re-opening programme, when it can be rolled out, will see a selected number of facilities opening first, with additional centres opening their doors as soon as possible.
“We have been working with Community Leisure UK, sportscotland and other industry partners to ensure our facilities are Covid-ready so that customer can be confident that they can get active safely with us. And, although customers may be urgent to use our outdoor facilities, we’d like to reassure them that we are working hard to deliver sports and leisure opportunities wherever possible with the many organisation challenges we face.”
Our re-opening programme will see Michael Woods Sports and Leisure Centre in Glenrothes, Carnegie Leisure Centre, in Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre opening doors first, followed by East Sands Leisure Centre, Levenmouth Swimming Pool and Sports Centre, Cowdenbeath Leisure Centre and Dalgety Bay Leisure Centre.
The next phase will see Duloch Leisure Centre, Pitreavie Athletics Centre, Cupar Leisure Centre, Bowhill Swimming Pool, Lumphinnans Sports Hub and Waterstone Crook Leisure Centre welcoming customers, followed by the Beacon Leisure Centre.