Gwent's leisure centres to reopen on Monday

By Julie McNicholls Vale   |   Deputy news editor   |
Wednesday 5th August 2020 7:11 am
@JulieCambrian
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Most of Gwent’s leisure centres will begin to reopen on Monday (August 10), after the Welsh Government gave them the go-ahead to open their doors. But those living in Caerphilly will have to wait a little while longer.

Leisure centres across Gwent will reopen on a phased basis from Monday, with only a small number of facilities available to begin with.

However, Caerphilly council has said that none of its leisure centres will reopen until September 1.

So, what has each council said so far?

Monmouthshire

In Monmouthshire all four leisure centres will be open from Monday on a phased return basis.

The fitness suite and fitness classes will be the first activities available for customers.

A booking system will be used for both areas, which will be launched at the end of this week with more information for customers.

The cabinet member for leisure and education, Cllr Richard John, said: “We are delighted by the Welsh Government‘s announcement today giving our hardworking MonLife team the green light to begin reopening our leisure centre facilities from Monday.

“The lockdown has really taken its toll on people’s mental and physical health so the ability to take part in a wide range of leisure activities will be welcomed by many of our residents.

“I’d like to thank our leisure centre customers for their patience and support during this difficult time and we look forward to welcoming you back.”

Blaenau Gwent

Leisure centres in Blaenau Gwent will be reopened on a phased basis, according to the Aneurin Leisure Trust.

The trust plans to have staff available for queries Monday to Friday from 9am to 3.30pm at Ebbw Vale Sport Centre and Abertillery Sport Centre, while staff will be available from 9am to noon at Tredegar Sport Centre.

The operations director for the trust, Phill Sykes said: “We’re excited that the Welsh Government has made this announcement and we can’t wait to see our members back at the centres soon.

“Sport and leisure activities are fundamental to the well-being of the community and our priority is to ensure that we can provide these services to help improve community life whilst ensuring that they are as safe as possible for members.”

Blaenau Gwent council’s executive member for education, Cllr Joanne Collins said: “The health and well-being of local communities is important to us and we know that people are keen to get back into their fitness and sport activities so this is very welcome news.

“We’ll be working closely with Aneurin Leisure Trust to support them with their plans for a phased safe re-opening of sports centres across Blaenau Gwent.”

Newport

Newport City Council said that many facilities at the Newport Centre, the Newport International Sports Village (NISV) and Active Living Centre (ALC) will be open from Monday.

However, the swimming pool at the Newport Centre will be closed for at least another six months.

The city council is working closely with Newport Live to prepare the leisure centres for a safe reopening.

The council said that during lockdown additional cleaning has taken place. Amended timetables and social distancing measures have also been put in place to ensure the safety of customers and staff.

The facilities likely to open up to customers first include gyms, sports halls, swimming pools and group exercise classes.

All users of the facilities will be required to have a Newport Live card as part of Public Health Wales’ Test, Trace and Protect service.

Newport Live’s chief executive, Steve Ward, said: “It brings me great pleasure to be able to welcome our customers back to Newport Live.

“Whilst we have been able to support the community in other ways through providing training facilities for Wales’ elite athletes and hosting Aneurin Bevan University Health Board’s coronavirus recovery programme, I am delighted to re-open our doors to members of the public once again and to see some familiar faces.

“Exercise is so vital to our customer’s health and wellbeing, especially during this unparalleled situation, and it is great to be able to support the people of Newport and beyond and to inspire a healthy and active city.”

Torfaen

Torfaen Leisure Trust has said it intends to take a phased approach on the reopening of leisure centres in the county borough.

However, the Trust has confirmed that Pontypool Active Living Centre will reopen on Monday. Cwmbran Stadium will reopen on Wednesday (August 12).

More information will be released on Monday about the reopening.

The Trust said the financial impact on their facilities has been significant and will continue to work with the Welsh Sports Association and Community Leisure UK to push for more funding.

Caerphilly

Caerphilly residents will have to wait until September 1 to see the reopening of their leisure centres.

The county borough council has said that this will allow the Leisure Lifestyle staff to return from redeployment from other services during the coronavirus pandemic.

Like the other Gwent local authorities, leisure centres will reopen on a phased basis, with only a select number of facilities available to begin with.

The initial reopening will see the Caerphilly, Heolddu, Newpridge and Risca leisure centres open first.

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