Funding boost to help Havant and Waterlooville leisure centres recover from impact of pandemic and ‘most challenging year ever’
LEISURE centres in Havant and Waterlooville have been given a funding boost.
To help the leisure centres bounce back after lockdown, £265,000 has been awarded to Horizon Leisure, which runs both the Havant and Waterlooville sites.
Funds were secured thanks to a bid by Havant Borough Council.
The money is part of the £100 million National Leisure Recovery Fund, which aims to support publicly-owned leisure centres as they recover from the impact of the pandemic.
Howard Broad, Horizon Leisure Centres chief executive, said: ‘It has been the most challenging year ever-experienced for the charity.
‘The centres have been closed for nearly 10 months since March 2020 with zero income and ongoing running costs.
‘The NLRF grant is most welcome and will help reduce our losses.
‘Keeping physically and mentally fit and healthy has never been so important and we cannot wait to continue our vision of empowering communities to lead healthier, happy lives.’
The centres reopened on April 12, with gyms, pools, swim school, and creche reopening.
Group exercise classes are currently scheduled to resume on May 17.
Claire Hughes, client relationship director for Havant Borough Council, said: ‘With leisure centres closed for significant periods in the last year, income has dramatically fallen across the leisure, sport and health fitness sectors across the country, including here in Havant.
‘But while many residents have been keeping active, with more people walking, exercising outdoors or doing fitness classes online, the leisure centres have remained empty for large periods of the year.
‘This funding, secured by Havant Borough Council, will give our local leisure centres the head start they need now they have opened again.’
Alan Mak, MP for Havant, added: ‘It is great news that the government has given a substantial funding boost to Havant Leisure Centre.
‘I know throughout the lockdown many people missed being able to visit the gym or play sport so I hope this extra funding ensures a fantastic community asset can continue to operate.
‘As we continue on the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, I hope residents will enjoy using Havant Leisure Centre in a safe and Covid secure way.’