Gyms, swimming pools and leisure centres are to reopen from the 25th July in plans announced today (9 July) by government.
Outside pools, such as Charlton Lido, will be able to open in two days time (11 July).
Social distancing and cleaning guidelines will be in place.
In south east London this will be one to watch. The council services in Greenwich operated by Greenwich Leisure Limited – and branded as Better – were seeing serious difficulties in recent years even before current problems according to a council report in January.
Then in February a pipe fell from the ceiling at Woolwich Waterfront causing the pool to be closed until summer. We await to see if work was carried out in recent months.
Currently staff costs are being met though furlough, but what happens when that ends?
When libraries in the borough recently opened Plumstead remained closed despite a new centre opening earlier in 2020. I’m told staff shortages even before lockdown were in evidence. The Centre went over budget by 48 % to £16.6 million.
Hopefully finances are sufficient to keep leisure centres and related libraries going. Greenwich has seen fewer library closures and cuts over the past decade than neighbouring Bexley and Lewisham. Only Kidbrooke lost its library though there are plans to move Coldharbour.