County leisure centres receive funding boost
Halo Leisure facilities in Herefordshire have received a helping hand to get back up and running following a series of centre closures due to Covid-19 lockdowns, thanks to a new grant scheme.
The National Leisure Recovery Fund from Sport England supports publicly owned leisure facilities through the coronavirus crisis.
Herefordshire Council has received £460k to allocate to Halo Leisure to help secure the future of these important community venues located across the county in Ross-on-Wye, Hereford City, Bromyard, Kington, Ledbury, Leominster and Kington. This is the maximum amount that could have been allocated and seeks to allow leisure facilities to reopen to the public.
Halo is a social enterprise and like many registered charities has struggled financially during the ongoing pandemic.
Scott Rolfe, Halo CEO said: “The vast majority of our income comes from families on our children’s coaching courses for gymnastics and swimming and local people enjoying our pools, gyms and group exercise classes. When we closed this income stream dried up immediately. We welcome this funding at this time as we prepare to reopen our leisure centres from 12 April. It will play an important part in the rebuilding of our services, giving us the best chance of recovery in the medium to long term so we can support even more local people to get more active more often.”
Cllr Gemma Davies, Cabinet member for commissioning, procurement & assets, said: “We are delighted that the partnership between Herefordshire Council and Halo has resulted in this funding. Leisure centres play a vital role in helping people to be active and they’ll be crucial in our county’s recovery from coronavirus as well as wider health, wellbeing and community benefits.”
Restrictions brought in to stop the spread of the virus have had a huge impact on the financial viability of many leisure services across the country. The fund aims to counter this, as well as protect sports provision for those who might otherwise struggle to get the benefits of being physically active.
“The health and mental wellbeing of communities across Herefordshire relies on access to high quality gyms and leisure centres,” added Cllr Davies.
“While this funding cannot solve all of the financial and operational challenges facing the leisure sector, the National Leisure Recovery Fund will offer a lifeline to our counties least active members and help them to build up the immunity we need to fight coronavirus.”
For further information please visit haloleisure.org.uk