Published: Thursday, 25th March 2021
Sevenoaks District Council has secured £235,000 to help local leisure centres reopen when restrictions ease from 12 April.
The funding will be a welcome and timely boost to Sencio Community Leisure, which operates three leisure centres and a golf course on behalf of the Council. The three leisure centres closed shortly before Christmas as a result of Government lockdown restrictions.
Sevenoaks District Council’s successful joint bid to Sport England’s National Leisure Recovery Fund, which is available to support publicly-owned leisure centres and gyms, was announced on Monday 22 March.
The funding will be passed to Sencio to help leisure centres reopen safely as part of ‘Step Two’ of the Government’s roadmap to easing the lockdown. This funding is in addition to £357,000 in previously agreed support from the Council and an allocation of nearly £85,000 from various business grant schemes administrated by the Council.
Cllr Lesley Dyball, the Council’s Cabinet Member for People and Places, says: “The current lockdown has put enormous pressures on leisure providers, making reopening a challenge. At the same time, residents have greatly missed the opportunity to use their local centres to improve their health and wellbeing.
“This £235,000, along with funding we have already provided, will help our three centres open again as soon as the Government confirms it is safe to do so.
“With social distancing set to remain in place for a while, it may be a limited reopening to begin with. But our residents will welcome the opportunity to enjoy indoor health and leisure once again.”
Sport England’s Chief Executive, Tim Hollingsworth, adds: “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.”