LEISURE centre staff in Burnley are leading a roll-out of regular coronavirus tests for local businesses.

Together with Burnley Borough Council and Lancashire County Council, Burnley Leisure, a chairty employing more than 100 people which runs the majority of leisure facilities in the town, will be offering tests to business employees at Gannow Community Centre, Central Methodist Church and Burnley Boys and Girls Club on Barden Lane.

They plan to allow people working in the town to receive two tests per week, every week for the foreseeable future.

Burnley Leisure hospitality general manager Mark Dempsey said: “We have offered support to the new workplace testing programmes being rolled-out by the county council and government.

"Over 20 Burnley Leisure staff are undergoing training to provide testing along with Burnley Leisure partner Birchall Foodservice, based at Hapton, which has offered seven of its team to provide additional testing capacity.

“Regular testing boosts the effectiveness and accuracy of the lateral flow test, it offers us all a passport out of this pandemic.

"The ability to test in five minutes and receive the results in 30 minutes is key to re-opening our economy and providing peace-of-mind for employees and businesses.

"This development is something that every employer should support.

"While distancing is still very important, we can identify and support employers to bring employee testing in-house.”

Testing at Gannow runs every Tuesday and Friday, 9am to 4pm, while testing at Burnley Boys and Girls Club is on Mondays and Thursdays, 9am to 4pm and testing at Central Methodist Church is on Wednesdays and Saturdays, 9am to 4pm.

All centres operate on a walk-in basis with no need for an appointment.

Burnley leisure says that test results are generally available in 30 minutes and are sent to patients' mobile phones.

However, the tests are only available for workers who cannot work from home and people attending will be asked to confirm they need to be based in a workplace rather than working at home.

In addition, local firms may eventually be offered mobile testing at workplaces and training so they can test their own staff.

Meanwhile Burnley Leisure has also been working to provide other much needed community services during the pandemic from fitness coaches to catering chefs to team members delivering food parcels, handling telephone calls and preparing 200 weekly two-course ready meals for food parcels.

Mr Dempsey added: "We are continuing to increase our support in the borough with testing, thanks to our fantastic team who all share our goal of driving-down Covid rates in Burnley.

"I want to thank our dedicated team for, once again, rising to the challenge."

To find out more, go to: https://burnleyleisure.co.uk/.