Serco Reopens Leisure Facilities
The company operates many of the highest-profile leisure sites in the country, including the National Sports Centres Bisham Abbey, Lilleshall and Stoke Mandeville Stadium, which it operates on behalf of More Leisure and the charity WheelPower. It also operates a number of leisure centres for local authority clients, including the ukactive Regional Club/Centre of the Year for the past two years, Oak Tree Leisure Centre in Mansfield.
Since Saturday, the well-established leisure operator has opened 36 of its 49 sites, and is in the enviable position of being able to claim that for each of its contracts, customers will have access to a site, or number of sites. This follows the lifting of lockdown for indoor fitness facilities, announced by the Government earlier this month.
Serco Leisure managing director, Simon Bailey, visited a number of centres during the reopening weekend, and says: "We’re very proud to be able to say that across every one of our contracts, we are now offering an indoor-exercise option for the communities we serve. Working closely with clients across our contracts, and involving countless hours of safety planning, we’ve been able to find a safe, socially-distanced solution, which works for each of the areas we operate in.
"To get to this point has not been easy and we have to thank the co-operation and support of our clients during these unprecedented times. Our role is to serve these organisations while providing quality, safe activity options for the people using our centres, as well as for our 3,000+ employees.
"This is just the first step towards rebuilding the industry. We’ve got to convince customers and colleagues that our centres are safe places to be. We’ve left no stone unturned in our safety planning and with the support of our teams across the business, I feel confident in saying that when people visit a Serco Leisure centre, they will be receiving the industry’s highest level of safety standards."
For its sites which opened from July 25, Serco Leisure’s gyms, workout classes and lane swimming will be in operation at each applicable facility. Swimming lessons are due to return at its aquatics centres from August 1.
For each site, access to changing facilities has been determined on a site by site basis, based on risk assessments carried out pre-opening. For those centres with the space and configuration to allow for social distancing, changing facilities will be open. For those sites not able to allow for the important safety measures, customers are being asked to arrive at the centres beach-ready.
Of its sites that will remain closed, this is primarily due to the age and design of facilities currently preventing compliance with government COVID-19 guidelines.