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Building Back Better - Edinburgh Leisure reopens six of its leisure venues

Edinburgh Leisure | Monday 14th September 2020 0:05am

Building Back Better

Edinburgh Leisure, the city’s largest sports and leisure operator reopened its doors at six of its venues, today, Monday, 14 September 2020.

The venues that reopened are:  Ainslie Park Leisure Centre (badminton, fitness, gym, swim), Craiglockhart Leisure and Tennis Centre (badminton, fitness, gym and indoor and outdoor tennis and squash), Drumbrae Leisure Centre (badminton, fitness, gym, swim), The Royal Commonwealth Pool (fitness, gym, swim) Leith Victoria Swim Centre (fitness, gym, swim), and Gracemount Leisure Centre (badminton, fitness, gym, swim).

They initially reopened their gyms, fitness classes, tennis, badminton and squash courts, and lane swimming in these centres. Bookings went live for members at 9pm on Thursday, 10 September and for non-members on Friday, 11 September.

Edinburgh Leisure's six golf courses have been open since 4 June, and there has been a big upturn in demand for tee times.  Their outdoor tennis courts have also been open since June and have been free to play.

Whilst First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon brought forward the date that indoor leisure venues could reopen to 31 August 2020, Edinburgh Leisure had always been working towards the original date that was indicated by the First Minister of 14 September.

An Edinburgh Leisure spokesperson explained: “We’re delighted to be re-opening the doors at six of our venues on 14 September and have been busy preparing for our customers return. We’ve missed them, as I know, many of them us.

“As you can imagine, bringing Edinburgh Leisure’s diverse range of venues and services ‘back to life’ in a COVID-19 environment is a big and complex task.  For example, we had over 900 staff on furlough, and it’s been necessary to check and refresh/update relevant compliance training before we could reopen. There’s also been the huge task of producing and installing signage in all the venues and marking out physical distancing. Our number one goal is to provide our customers with a clean, safe and enjoyable Edinburgh Leisure experience.”

The Edinburgh Leisure experience is different from before but customers will still receive the warm, Edinburgh Leisure welcome.

The main changes that customers are seeing are:

All activities must be pre-booked via the Edinburgh Leisure app or website.

- They are operating in a cashless environment, accepting contactless payments.

- Safety guidance is on display throughout the venues.

- Additional sanitisation stations have been installed throughout the venues for use before and after each visit.

- All activities are timetabled with staggered session start times to reduce congestion.

- Customers must wear face coverings in communal areas, but not for their activities.

Edinburgh Leisure has produced a series of videos and guidelines to virtually help customers through their first visit, and have a new ‘Ask Us’ section, which is available on their website, advising and supporting customers to make a booking and answer any questions they may have.

Edinburgh Leisure, like every leisure trust in Scotland is facing huge financial challenges.  They continue to lobby the Government for financial support for the sector to ensure the sector survives and can continue to contribute to the country’s health and wellbeing.

June Peebles, CEO of Edinburgh Leisure said:  “Edinburgh Leisure is committed to ‘building back better’ to a sustainable Edinburgh Leisure and to continue making a positive impact to the citizens of Edinburgh’s health and wellbeing – as we have done for the last 22 years.

“Never before has health and wellbeing been so important. And Edinburgh Leisure remains committed to supporting the people of Edinburgh to be active and enjoy good health.”

 Edinburgh Leisure is a charity dedicated to creating opportunities for everyone to lead more active, healthy lives.  They do this by running over 30+ sports and leisure facilities across the city and deliver their Active Communities programme, which helps improve the lives of people affected by health conditions, poverty, inequalities, and disabilities. 

For more information:   www.edinburghleisure.co.uk

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For further information please contact: Kerry Teakle, Edinburgh Leisure PR Officer. Tel: 07801 103528

Notes to editors:

Edinburgh Leisure like every leisure trust in Scotland is facing huge financial challenges. They continue to lobby the Government for financial support for the sector to ensure we all survive and can continue to contribute to the country’s health and wellbeing. Edinburgh Leisure has a big part to play in the city’s recovery but they need financial support.  

They estimated several months ago that the financial impact of COVID-19 on Edinburgh Leisure over a 12-month period was around £6m.

The Council is aware of this £6m estimate and discussions are ongoing as to how they work through this together.

In addition to the work taking place in Scotland with COSLA and the Scottish Government on the need for financial support for public leisure services the same request for support is being
made to the UK Government. They await information on what financial support will be made available. However, in the meantime, they continue to plan for reopening facilities on an incremental basis.

 

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