Huntingdonshire District Council has begun realigning the services its One Leisure sites provide, to enable the greatest positive impact on the health and wellbeing of local communities.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has highlighted even more, how important it is to stay fit and well and the importance of adapting approaches to leisure and work activities. The way leisure activities can be provided and the things people value most looks very different now to what was needed before. The improving health and wellbeing of Huntingdonshire residents is a key priority for the council and the last 12 months of uncertainty, multiple closures and customer feedback has highlighted the need for One Leisure to redefine what services deliver the most impact.

Executive Councillor for Leisure and Regulatory Services, Councillor Keith Prentice said: "The council will always endeavour to provide quality leisure facilities that we know are important to our communities. We were heartened by the return of over 70% of our customers when we were able to reopen facilities previously and we understand the things you value for fitness, sport, and swimming.

"Our focus will be ensuring that we can continue to offer high-quality activities for physical and mental wellbeing and that the council can sustain in this new leisure marketplace. One Leisure will always strive to provide facilities and activities that enable more people to be more active, more often."

The delivery of high-quality gym facilities, extensive fitness class programmes, sports, and swimming activities will be the focus at all facilities in St Neots, Huntingdon, St Ives and Ramsey. Community-based health and wellbeing programmes will also continue to be delivered, such as Active Lifestyles' different programmes.

As part of the refocus on sustaining the continuation of those key activities, it is likely that there will be some functions that are not possible to reopen once government restrictions on leisure operations are relaxed, for example, changes to Zest Café and events at Burgess Hall.

Following the government’s roadmap announcement on Monday 22 February, it is now clear that the earliest indoor facilities can reopen is 12 April. The District Council and One Leisure will continue to do everything possible to ensure that facilities are ready for this reopening, and to provide support until customers can be safely welcomed back.