March 1, 2023

Charitable trust increases access for local leisure centres

he region’s leading provider of sports and leisure services has announced it will increase access to five of its sites as part of its post-Covid recovery plan.

Charitable trust, Fife Sports and Leisure Trust, is announcing the changes in a bid to engage with local communities and will roll out a consultation period to find out what programmes would be most popular to ensure attendance levels.

The trust, working alongside its partner Fife Council is increasing opening hours at East Sands Leisure Centre by 15 hours, Cupar Sports Centre by 13 hours and Dalgety Bay Sports and Leisure Centre by 15 hours. Cowdenbeath Leisure Centre will see the reintroduction of public swimming between 12 noon and 3pm. Fife Council will make a funding package available to support the launch of the new timetables.

Changes are also planned for the Beacon Leisure Centre in Burntisland with enhanced opening hours for 10 weeks during the school holidays, Monday to Friday 9am to 11am. This will allow the trust to deliver its usual holiday programmes aimed at local youngsters. The move, funded by the trust, will run as a pilot this summer with a view that a long-term model can be achieved if there is sufficient customer demand.

The changes come following the significant operational and financial impact of the Covid pandemic which saw sports and leisure centres forced to close and restrict access. However, work by the trust has seen an 84 per cent overall recovery between April 1 and December 31, 2022.

Emma Walker, chief executive of Fife Sports and Leisure Trust said: “Thanks to the efforts of staff and loyalty of customers, the trust is now in a position that it can widen access for local communities. I hope that these changes to five of our sites will see more positive results across the organisation and drive our recovery further.

“I’d encourage people to engage with our consultation process in order that they can have their say and get the programmes they would most like to use. Customers attendances are going to be crucial in the long-term viability of the increased timetables.”

Councillor Linda Erskine, Fife Council’s Spokesperson for Communities & Leisure Services, said: “Lockdowns and restrictions throughout the Covid-19 pandemic brought the leisure and fitness sector to a relative standstill. Our leisure centres and community sports centres are vital resources to local communities, providing opportunities to improve fitness, health, and wellbeing.

“This Fife Council funding will allow the leisure trust to widen public access to the facilities and will encourage people not only to take part in the consultation and have their say, but to make use of our leisure and sports centres to ensure their long-term future.”

The trust is advising local communities that the new timetables will not be introduced immediately as it launches a recruitment drive for qualified staff to deliver the new timetables. Implementation is not expected until late summer or early autumn and the trust will share updates with customers.


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