COUNCIL gyms and the swimming pool have re-opened their doors to the public for the first time in six months.

Blackburn Sports and Leisure Centre opened at a slightly later date to other gyms as staff have been working in different posts during the pandemic – with many supporting the Help Hub and the community swabbing programme. 

Initially the centre will only be open for monthly or annual members and all sessions must be pre-booked.

Witton Park Arena is only being used for targeted health condition programmes such as GP referrals. Darwen Leisure Centre reopened on September 1 when restrictions in the town were lifted at the end of August.

At Witton Park Arena, although not back to pre-lockdown levels just yet, staff said it was amazing to be open again. The centre is only being used for programmes such as exercise referral, cardiac, stroke and COPD rehabilitation, weight management, falls prevention, physical and learning disabilities and a range of other sessions.  

Lancashire Telegraph:

Staff at Witton Park Arena get into gear. The centre is only being used for targeted health condition programmes

Victoria McCoy, from the BwD Refresh team, said, “We are all really excited to be back and it is amazing.

“We are open for health improvement sessions only and GP referrals. Our aim is to get people active again and encouraging physical activity after the lockdown.

“People can call the well-being service on 01254 682037 or see more details on the Regency App.”

“All the staff have been working hard to ensure we maintain the extra safe measures for the benefit of everyone.”

Those who normally use Witton Park Arena are encouraged to book gym and any classes at Blackburn Sports and Leisure Centre or Darwen Leisure Centre.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Councillor Damian Talbot, Executive Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “It is great news that our gyms and sporting facilities can open again after such a long break due to the pandemic, and I know the centres are looking forward to welcoming people back. 

“A massive amount of work has gone into making the classes, equipment and areas as covid safe as possible.

“We would urge people to keep following all guidelines and rules to keep yourself and others safe while at the gyms. This will help to keep infection rates down and allow us to carry on enjoying these activities.

“A healthy lifestyle including exercise and keeping fit can help to boost your immune system and improve your health, which is of extra importance at the moment.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Gym members are reminded that Direct Debit payments will take place on 1 October 2020 for all customers. Blackburn Sports and Leisure Centre is open from 7am – 8pm Mondays to Fridays and 9am – 3pm on the weekend. Feilden Street Car Park is free for up to three hours but the ticket must be stamped at reception. 

After 4pm the College Car Park is free for two hours but you must enter your registration on the screen inside the Sports and Leisure Centre as the college is now operating an ANPR system.