RYEDALE District Council’s fitness centres and pools are to open their doors to customers again from this weekend.

The news comes after several weeks of negotiation between Ryedale District Council. which owns the Swim and Fitness centres in Norton and Pickering, and Ryedale Sports Centre, and Everyone Active, the company that runs the facilities in partnership with the council.

Active procedures will ensure social distancing is managed throughout the centres and regular cleaning is maintained.

In March the Government announced that pools, gyms and sports facilities must close, as part of the lockdown response to COVID-19. Although Government has now confirmed that it is safe to re-open facilities, the four- month closure period has had a financial impact on many leisure operators, including Everyone Active, creating uncertainty around the reopening of the facilities.

Ryedale District Council has stepped in to underwrite a proportion of Everyone Active’s costs until the end of September – a move which will allow the council-owned centres to reopen to customers in August.

Councillor Keane Duncan, Leader of Ryedale District Council, said: “This has been a difficult situation, and we’re delighted to have finally reached a resolution. As a council we were determined to do everything possible to reopen our facilities for local people, but we had to make sure that it was affordable, proportionate and fair.

“After working hard to find the right solution, we have been able come to an agreement. This is at significant extra expense to the council, but it means that the centres can open in August and people can get back to enjoying their gym and swim sessions once again. We felt this was the number one priority for local people after months of closure.

“Ryedale District Council has done its bit. It’s now over to Everyone Active to deliver the service our residents expect, retaining customers and attracting new ones over the coming months.”

The centres will open on a staggered basis over the course of August, this is part of a phased approach to reopening the leisure facilities in order to ensure a safe and welcoming environment for all customers returning under the new social distance guidance:

Derwent Swim and Fitness Centre, Norton

Gym open 8 August, Pool opening 22 August for laned swimming, swimming lessons and clubs

Ryedale Swim and Fitness Centre, Pickering

Gym open 8 August, Pool opening 22 August for laned swimming, swimming lessons and clubs

Ryedale Sports Centre

Gym, group exercise classes and outdoor courts opening 8 August

As government restrictions still do not permit family swimming sessions, these will open at a later date, but as soon as possible. Opening times for all the centres are on Everyone Active’s website www.everyoneactive.com

Martin Miles, Everyone Active’s area contract manager said:“We’re very much looking forward to reopening the centres once again. Giving people the opportunity to resume activity and exercise in their leisure centre will go a long way to maintaining the good health of local communities.

"We’ve been overwhelmed by the support we have received from our customers and partners during these unprecedented times, and we’re so grateful. Like many other industries, leisure has been greatly affected by the lockdown. By working in partnership with Ryedale District Council, we’re pleased to say that we’ve been able to get our facilities safely back open as soon as possible.

“Ensuring our colleagues and customers remain safe is our number one priority, and we will be adhering to health and safety guidance very carefully. We will be contacting all customers directly over the coming days regarding the centres reopening. Meanwhile, we’d like to thank everyone for their patience, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back.”