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Penrith Leisure Centre is preparing to reopen

Penrith Leisure Centre is preparing to reopen - and people can expect to see some improvements to the facilities when they return after the lockdown.

It will reopen on Saturday (25 July, 2020) with a one way system in place and separate entrances and exits to ensure social distancing.

Claire Larssen next to one of the social distanced spinning bikes inside Penrith Leisure Centre.Penrith Leisure Centre Manager Claire Larssen said she was looking forward to finally welcoming people back after such a long break during which Eden residents have been unable to carry on with their favourite sports and keep fit routines.

"It feels brilliant that we will be open again after the disappointment of thinking that the Government was going to allow leisure centres to open at the beginning of July.

"We are a real community hub and it means a lot for the health and fitness of people locally for us to be open so it will be great to be back in business,” she said.

"During the lockdown we have been busy so people will see some big improvements such a new floor in the sports hall and we have expanded the size of the gym as well as replaced lighting in the pool," she added.

Claire and her team have also been busy during the lockdown ensuring that the leisure centre can provide a safe environment for people to keep fit and healthy.

The centre has introduced a range of measures including a one way system with a separate entrance and exit, increased cleaning around the building and sanitising stations. Customers are also being asked to make online bookings and will be able use an App or scan a print out  of their booking at the centre.

The centre will initially operate at a reduced capacity to ensure social distancing. Only twenty people will be allowed in the pool at any time, for example.

"Obviously the health and safety of our staff and customers is paramount and we have done a lot of work to ensure everything is in place. We’ll have more staff, constant clearing around the centre and staff will be on hand to welcome people when they arrive and ensure they understand what they need to do," Claire said.

All staff have been given extensive Covid-19 training and initially both Penrith and Appleby will have reduced opening hours. The Eden District Council owners centres are run by Better and will be earlier on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and later on other days. Penrith will be open 10am to 3pm at weekends and Appleby will be open 9am to 3pm on Saturdays.

Cllr Lissie Sharp, Eden District Council Communities Portfolio Holder, said: "We're please to reopening the centres again to allow people to resume their exercise routines after such a long break. I think people will be impressed with all the measures that have been put in place to ensure people have a safe place to keep fit and the improvements that have been made at Penrith.

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