LEISURE centres are backing a petition to allow gyms to open during the second lockdown.

Ryedale Sports Centre, Ryedale Swim and Fitness Centre and Derwent Swim and Fitness Centre, which are managed by Everyone Active in partnership with Ryedale District Council, have been forced to close due to the latest restrictions. The move comes just months after they reopened following the first lockdown in March.

David Bibby, managing director of Everyone Active, said there were concerns about the effect on people this time round, with less daylight and colder weather preventing exercise outdoors.

“We need your help more than ever,” he said in a letter. “Much like the public, we’re reacting as best we can to the news that has impacted us, not only to support our members and customers, but also our leisure industry.

“We understand the importance of the position we’re in - to support the health and mental wellbeing of the nation. Therefore, we are supporting the 500,000 individuals who have so far signed the petition.”

Research shows that 58 per cent of people managed their mental health by being active during the last lockdown, emphasising the role leisure facilities can play in providing vital sanctuaries for health and wellbeing this winter.

Following the reopening of leisure facilities in July, Everyone Active implemented strict measures to protect customers and staff, which included an online booking system and cleaning regimes.

Everyone Active says these efforts have been met with a news of a month’s closure rather than recognition of the statistical data which reinforces the safe use of leisure centres.

“This is an incredibly difficult time for the leisure industry and our centres in Ryedale,” added Jon Bird, Everyone Active’s general manager.

“We are urging our members to get behind us and to support their local centre by signing the petition to encourage the government to keep gyms open. We’re so proud of all our colleagues for their hard work and dedication to providing a safe environment for our customers and can’t wait to reopen our doors once again.”

To sign the petition, go to petition.parliament.uk/petitions/333869