Better leisure centres across North Kesteven announce re-opening plans

Date Published: 14 July 2020

Council-owned leisure facilities in Sleaford and North Hykeham are welcoming customers back for safe, secure exercise, albeit it in a more limited way and with some timetable changes.

In line with latest Government guidance, Better Leisure, the charitable social enterprise that operates three leisure facilities locally on behalf of North Kesteven District Council, will begin a phased reopening of the sites from July 25.

In the initial reopening phase, gyms, studio space and swimming pools are open at One NK, North Hykeham; Better Gym, Sleaford and Sleaford Leisure Centre, Sleaford; with reduced opening hours.

Following Covid Secure guidance, anyone wishing to use the facilities will need to pre-book a one hour time slot via the Better app or website. There will be no opportunity to pay at the counter and customers are required to arrive ready for their sport, with changing facilities only available on exit for swimming.

Equipment within gym areas is reduced to ensure that 2 metres social distancing between users is maintained, while some fitness classes will be relocated to sports halls or even, weather permitting, the open air.

Staff will be adopting a new, enhanced cleaning regime, while customers will be asked to wipe down the equipment that they have used. Hand sanitiser will be available throughout leisure centre buildings.

The number of swimmers permitted in the pools has been reduced and the children’s water splash and water flume and toddler pool in North Hykeham are closed; although we aim to enhance the family swim offer into the summer holidays.

With some aspects of some sites not yet fully operational, all Better members will be given access to all Better facilities within North Kesteven for the foreseeable future.

They will also be given the option to continue to freeze their memberships as will any members who aren’t yet ready, able or comfortable to return to the centres.

Cllr Richard Wright, Leader of North Kesteven District Council, said: “I’m really pleased that after watching other aspects of our daily lives progressively unlock and re-open, it’s now time to return to the opportunities for physical activity, exercise and sport that people enjoy so much.

“We all know that keeping fit keeps us healthy and now, maybe more than ever, we need to maintain good levels of fitness, physical and mental health - not least to build our resilience to any possible re-emergence of the virus.

“Having invested so heavily – around £7.5m in total over recent years – in ensuring our pools, gyms and leisure offer across our facilities in Sleaford and North Hykeham are at the top of their game, and appointed Better to run them as efficiently as they do, I have every confidence that they will be safe, comfortable COVID-secure environments where our leisure users are welcome and well-provided for.

“I ask that as you return, you familiarise yourself with the new requirements, show patience and consideration and follow any particular guidance on site… and enjoy yourself.”

Chris Ord, Partnership Manager, Better said: “After nearly four months of lockdown, we are delighted to finally have the green light for reopening our leisure facilities in a phased fashion.

“Keeping people safe is now a shared responsibility and our top priority. As a leisure operator we will be working in partnership with customers to ensure their visit is safe.  This means things will look a little different, there will be no walk-ups and all visits must be pre-booked.

“We recognise that some people may be worried about returning to their local leisure facilities, so we will continue to offer free access to online fitness and exercises classes via our Better app.

“We look forward to seeing you soon.”

Information about the reopening will be published through Better’s website: https://www.better.org.uk/leisure-centres

Leisure in NK