23 Mar Financial help for Everyone Active to ensure leisure services can reopen
Bracknell Forest Council’s decision-making Executive has pledged financial support to Everyone Active so that the borough’s leisure services, which help residents’ physical and mental health, can open as soon as practically possible.
Everyone Active, which runs Bracknell Leisure Centre, Downshire Golf Complex and Coral Reef Waterworld, will be supported until at least June through a combination of government grants and council underwriting. This will enable the key leisure sites to open as soon as the Government’s roadmap allows.
The three leisure facilities have been closed since December as a result of national restrictions. The well-used sites, which attracted over 1million visits in 2019/20, will be an important part of the borough’s reopening and re-emergence from COVID19 – offering essential leisure facilities to support residents’ mental and physical health and wellbeing during and after the pandemic.
The council will support Everyone Active between April and June 2021 – a critical time for leisure operators which have received very little income in the past four months. Support will be provided to Everyone Active from Government through the National Leisure Recovery Fund and also from the council by underwriting their costs and losses. The financial support with Everyone Active will be capped and options for recouping losses will be incorporated into the agreement
Cllr John Harrison, Executive Member for Culture, Delivery and Public Protection, said: “The health and wellbeing of our residents is vitally important and we know that access to leisure facilities will be an essential part of the borough’s recovery from COVID-19.
“Like all leisure operators, our leisure contractor, Everyone Active, has made very little income over the past year, especially the past four months due to national restrictions. Therefore, we are agreeing to support Everyone Active in the transition period so that they can open as soon as practically possible and provide essential facilities to boost people’s mental and physical health.
“We have carefully considered the financial support offered to Everyone Active, which includes National Leisure Recovery Funding. We also have included options to have Council support repaid over time but enabling our leisure services to reopen as soon as practically possible is a priority.”
Bracknell Leisure Centre and Downshire Golf Complex are due to reopen on Monday, 12 April in line with the second step of the Government’s roadmap. Coral Reef Waterworld will either open on 12 April or 17 May.
The financial package agreed by the Executive on Tuesday is in addition to support approved in 2020. The Executive will review the borough’s leisure services run by Everyone Active every three months from May 2021 until the end of the financial year.