No date set for reopening of Harrogate district swimming pools, spas and gyms after government go-ahead

No date has been set for the reopening of council-run swimming pools, spas and gyms in the Harrogate district - despite a government go-ahead.

Friday, 10th July 2020, 12:45 pm
Updated Friday, 10th July 2020, 1:00 pm

The government announced yesterday that all indoor sports and leisure facilities can open their doors again from 25 July.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden also announced that outdoor pools and performances can resume from this Saturday, and beauticians, nail salons and tattooists can reopen from Monday.

Harrogate Borough Council's cabinet member for culture, tourism and sport, Coun Stanley Lumley, said the council can't yet set a reopening date for its swimming pools, spas and gyms, but added safety measures are now being drawn up.

Harrogate Borough Council is drawing up safety measures to reopen its leisure venues.

Coun Lumley said: "I’m delighted the government has advised it is now safe for leisure facilities to open from 25 July.

“But of course, customer safety comes first. We’re working hard on introducing new customer guidance for all of our facilities as well as staff training and cleaning procedures.

“We’ll have more news in the coming days and weeks with what facilities will open and when.”

The government has published guidance for the reopening of some leisure and sports facilities, which includes cleaning regimes, social distancing and protection for staff.

Measures also include limiting the number of people using a facility at one time, reducing class sizes and spacing out equipment. Face coverings will not be mandatory in gyms.

It comes as Harrogate Borough Council this week approved plans to hand over management of its leisure centres to a council-controlled company.

Council leaders last month revealed their proposals to set up the company – to be called Brimham’s Active – after estimating they could save around £400,000 a year in business rates relief and VAT benefits at its venues.

The plan – which will also see the council borrow £23million to upgrade some centres and build a new gym and swimming pool in Knaresborough – was unanimously voted through by full council on Wednesday.

The new leisure company will launch by August 2021, with the council spending £300,000 on company start-up costs.

Which facilities does the council run?

Harrogate Borough Council is in charge of The Hydro leisure centre, Turkish Baths, Knaresborough Pool, Starbeck Baths, Nidderdale Pool and Ripon Spa Baths.

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter

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