First sports and leisure centres in Fife re-open

Day one of phased return of all facilities will take six weeks
The swimming pool at Kirkcaldy Leisure CentreThe swimming pool at Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre
The swimming pool at Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre

Fife’s biggest sports and leisure centres open their doors today for the first time since lockdown.

The phased return of the facilities is underway, but it will take almost six weeks before all buildings are back in operation.

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From today, Fife Sports and Leisure Trust will welcome visitors back to Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre, Michael Woods Sports and Leisure Centre in Glenrothes, and Pitreavie Athletics Centre in Dunfermline.

Phase two of the return from a six-month lockdown, will see doors open at East Sands Leisure Centre, Levenmouth Swimming Pool and Sports Centre, Cowdenbeath Leisure Centre and Dalgety Bay Leisure Centre on Monday, September 28.

Phase three will see the return of Duloch Leisure Centre, Cupar Leisure Centre, Bowhill Swimming Pool and Waterstone Crook Leisure Centre welcoming customers on Monday, October 12, followed by the Beacon Leisure Centre on Monday, October 26.

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All facilities will have special measures in place to cope with social distancing, and to keep staff and users safe.

Their resumption came as Claire Baker, MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife called on the Scottish Government to outline what funding will be made available to help leisure trusts survive.

Fife has projected a £5m shortfall after surviving with next to no revenue since March, and the charitable trust which runs the region’s facilities, has supported the campaign by Community Leisure UK which warned that 70 per cent of its members will not be viable within 12 months - and one third are in desperate financial trouble.

Ms Baker said: “Local councils in England are being provided with a compensation scheme to address income loss related to services such as leisure and culture.

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“We need to see the consequentials used to deliver a similar scheme in Scotland to avoid the risk of closures.”

Aileen Campbell, Communities and Local Government Secretary at Holyrood said officials were in talks with COSLA over potential support.

She said it would consider a tailored scheme for arms length organisations - such as Fife Sport and Leisure Trust which would currently be excluded from the UK Government funding package.

The trust is also set to launch a new app for visitors to book facilities as their centres re-open.

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