Some leisure activities may be axed for reopening in April warns HDC

Some leisure activities may be dropped when the One Leisure centres reopen in April.

Some leisure activities may be dropped when the One Leisure centres reopen in April. - Credit: ARCHANT

Some activities offered by Huntingdonshire District Council’s (HDC) leisure centres may be axed when the buildings reopen at the end of the coronavirus lockdown, the authority has warned.

HDC has begun “realigning” services at its One Leisure sites in Huntingdon, St Neots, St Ives and Ramsey with the aim of providing those which offer the biggest impact on the health and wellbeing of users.

Changes to the Zest Cafe and events at the Burgess Hall, in St Ives, have been earmarked as possible casualties in the realignment before the centres reopen on April 12 at the earliest.

The council said it planned to redefine its services to concentrate on high-quality gym facilities, fitness classes, sports and swimming.

Cllr Keith Prentice, who is responsible for leisure and regulatory services, said: “The council will always endeavour to provide quality leisure facilities that we know are important to our communities.

“We were heartened by the return of more than 70 per cent of our customers when we were able to reopen facilities previously and we understand the things you value for fitness, sport, and swimming.”

He said: “Our focus will be ensuring that we can continue to offer high-quality activities for physical and mental wellbeing that the council can sustain in this new leisure marketplace. 

“One Leisure will always strive to provide facilities and activities that enable more people to be more active, more often.”
The council said the coronavirus had highlighted the importance of staying fit and the way leisure activities were provided now looked very different to how they had been before.

HDC has said improving the health and wellbeing of Huntingdonshire residents was a key priority for the council after 12 months of uncertainty and multiple closures.

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Customer feedback had highlighted the need for One Leisure to redefine services to deliver the most impact.

It said that in addition to the core services, community-based health and wellbeing programmes, including Active Lifestyles programmes, would continue to be delivered, but it was likely that some functions would not reopen when government restrictions on leisure operations were relaxed.

The council said it is now clear that the earliest indoor facilities could reopen was April 12 and would aim to make sure its facilities were ready for that date.