Following a constructive meeting between leisure partners on Monday 17 August, discussions were held to look at ways to reopen Dartmouth Leisure Centre as soon as possible.
The partners want to reassure residents that they are working closely together to find a solution as quickly as possible. Any possible options are being explored and the situation will continue to be monitored.
Leisure providers have not received any significant funding, other than the furlough scheme and the availability of loans, while most businesses have been supported in some way by Central Government. This has created very challenging conditions nationally for all leisure providers.
There is only a very small percentage of centres open across the country which demonstrates the challenges faced to the leisure sector as a whole. With 60% fewer users than usual, following some centres' reopening, and predictions of 40% down by the end of the financial year, this issue is sure to continue.
South Hams District Council's Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing, Cllr Jonathan Hawkins, said: "For someone who has fought over many years for our Leisure Centre in Dartmouth to see it closed is frustrating. We will do all we can to ensure with the Pool Trustees and Fusion that our centre is opened as soon as possible."
The District Council, along with the leisure industry, continues to lobby MPs and Central Government for funding and they encourage residents to add their weight to the campaign by lobbying for change alongside them.
You can do this by supporting and sharing the #SaveLeisure campaign launched by Community Leisure UK urging the UK Government to commit relief funding to enable the full reopening and recovery of the public leisure sector.
Craig Davidson, Pool Trustee & Torbay & South Devon Foundation Trust governor, commented: "If it hadn't been for Covid, Exercise on Referral, both in the gym and the pool, would have been up and running in Dartmouth by now," he continued, "we are ready to go with these free schemes to encourage the public to exercise as soon as conditions allow."
Allan Smith, Chair of Dartmouth Indoor Pool Charity, said: "We are doing all that we can to support Fusion and SHDC to reopen Dartmouth leisure centre' and added, "SHDC has been very supportive but the Sport and Leisure industry really needs Central Government support."
Anthony Cawley, Director of Operations for Fusion Lifestyle, said: "We know our leisure facilities are really important for the health and well-being of the local community and we have been working in partnership with South Hams District Council and the Pool Trustees to get Dartmouth open again as soon as it is safe and viable to do so.
"We hope the residents of Dartmouth will bear with us whilst we implement our reopening plans and they can soon enjoy their centre once again."
Issued: 2 September 2020