LEISURE chiefs across Worcester and Malvern are celebrating more than £300,000 of Government grants to help support the re-opening of the areas leisure centres.
Worcester City Council has been handed £214,000 while Malvern Hills District Council has been given more than £140,000 from Sport England’s National Leisure Recovery Fund.
Both authorities will use the grants to support its leisure partner Freedom Leisure to provide a full range of sports and leisure activities to visitors once the lockdown restrictions are lifted on Monday (April 12).
Freedom Leisure runs three leisure centres on behalf of Worcester City Council, at Perdiswell, Nunnery Wood and St John’s. Malvern Splash, Dyson Perrins and Sport Martley are run in Malvern on behalf of the district council.
Tenbury Community Swimming Pool, which is not owned by the council but is run by Freedom Leisure on behalf of the community, will also benefit from the recovery funding.
Lloyd Griffiths, corporate director of Operations, Homes and Communities, said: “Leisure centres play an important role in the health and wellbeing of our residents.
“This grant, in addition to the package of financial support provided by the council, will help the centres to recover quickly following the lockdown, ensuring residents can return to our leisure centres when they reopen, helping them to keep fit and healthy.”
Malvern residents will be able to sample some of the new look at Malvern Splash following a £2million revamp from Monday.
Coronavirus restrictions will mean not all activities and some of the new Splash features will not be available straight away but pool will be available for swimming and most activities including the gym, racket sports and children’s swimming lessons, will also take place
Malvern Hills District Council leader Coun Sarah Rouse said the leisure sector had been impacted on by the pandemic and while the money was welcome it was only a fraction of what had been spent on supporting leisure centres to reopen.
“If the Government is serious about helping people improve their health and wellbeing post-Covid-19, then we need to see much more central funding for our leisure centres.
“That said I am excited our leisure centres will finally be reopening and for people to get their first look at the new Malvern Splash.”
Freedom Leisure managing director Ivan Horsfall Turner said the last year had been a significant challenge for the leisure industry and the role in providing the local communities across Worcester and Malvern with access to health, fitness and wellbeing opportunities has never been more important.
“Our teams are excited to get back to providing our local communities with opportunities for exercise, activity and the chance to socialise safely.”
Visit www.freedom-leisure.co.uk for more.