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Wyre Council provides additional funding to ensure leisure provision in Wyre

Leisure Centres Published Friday, 20 November 2020

Wyre Council has put forward a report to recommend additional funding of £340,165 in 2020/21 to enable Fylde Coast YMCA to continue to provide a leisure service in Wyre.

This funding is in addition to the previously agreed £636,345 and brings the total funding package to support Fylde Coast YMCA to just under £1million. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a profound impact on the leisure sector and it is hoped that this funding will support the sustainable economic recovery of leisure centre facilities within Wyre. This additional subsidy will allow the gyms and fitness classes to reopen at Thornton and Garstang leisure centres once restrictions are lifted, including the swimming pool at Garstang.

Councillor Lynne Bowen, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Health and Community Engagement at Wyre Council explains, “Whilst ideally we want to be able to reopen all the centres, without the level of demand we were seeing before coronavirus, and the fact that no central government funding has been confirmed for the leisure sector, we have to find the best way forward.

“For some time now the YMCA centres have been competing against private sector gyms and pools as well as online fitness provision. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has further impacted financial performance.

“We are of course committed to improving the health and wellbeing of our communities and together with the YMCA we have identified that Thornton and Garstang are the two most viable centres to reopen. They have the highest number of members and since the pandemic began they have retained more memberships than the other centres. By reopening a centre in the rural and urban areas of the borough, residents will be still be able to access facilities within a reasonable travel time.”

£100m of government funding for leisure centres has been announced but no details on the application process or criteria have yet emerged.

John Cronin, CEO of Fylde Coast YMCA said, “Without additional funding from Wyre Council we would not be able to open any of our centres and this further injection of money will allow us to reopen two centres, one in the urban area and one in the rural area. The other centres will be kept under review.

“We urge local communities to make full use of the facilities on offer and we will be in touch with our members soon. Since reopening centres in the summer after the first lockdown, we have introduced strict measures to ensure that our users feel safe and that the centres continue to remain COVID secure. This has been done to great success and we would like to thank the community for your continued support.”

The report published today also seeks approval for £30,000 to bring in external support to help with the development of a longer term strategy for sustainable leisure provision in Wyre.

Details of Fylde Coast YMCA’s centres and the COVID secure measures put in place can be found at www.ymcayactive.org

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