Leisure centres in Brighton and Hove have been awarded £630,000 government funding to support a phased reopening from next Monday (12 April).
They were closed as part of the lockdown in response to the coronavirus and have lost millions of pounds of revenue since the start of the pandemic.
But Brighton and Hove City Council is one of 266 local authorities to received money from the National Leisure Recovery Fund.
The £100 million government fund is being managed by Sport England and is intended to support the recovery of publicly owned leisure centres and gyms.
The council has already announced that seven leisure centres – operated by Freedom Leisure – are planned to reopen next Monday.
They are the King Alfred Leisure Centre, Stanley Deason Leisure Centre, Moulsecoomb Community Leisure Centre, Withdean Sports Complex, Portslade Sports Centre, St Luke’s Swimming Pool and the Prince Regent Swimming Complex.
The outdoor pitches at Portslade Sports Centre and Stanley Deason Leisure Centre opened last week on Monday 29 March.
Sport England chief executive Tim Hollingsworth said: “Leisure facilities have a vital role to play in supporting the health of the nation and, in particular, in serving our more disadvantaged communities.
“They have been hit especially hard over the past year so this investment is crucial and will help thousands to reopen when it becomes possible to do so, supporting the recovery and helping people get back to the activity they have badly missed.
“Sport England has worked at pace to enable the distribution of the investment to happen as quickly as possible and remains committed to doing what we can to continue to support this crucial part of our sector.”
Freedom Leisure managing director Ivan Horsfall-Turner said: “The last year has been a significant challenge for the leisure industry and our role in providing the local communities across Brighton and Hove with access to health, fitness and wellbeing opportunities has never been more important.
“The funding secured with Brighton and Hove City Council will help us to reopen and get back to delivering a vital service to their residents and visitors.”
The council said: “Leisure centres and gyms are part of the ‘step two’ reopening and will reopen their doors to the public on Monday 12 April for individual socially distanced use.
“Indoor adult group sports and exercise classes are due to resume from Monday 17 May as part of ‘step three’.”
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