A support package to help council-owned leisure services through the pandemic has been agreed by Swansea Council’s Labour Cabinet.
The financial package will help ensure that highly-valued services at the LC and community leisure centres as well as Plantasia will be able to re-open safely as soon as the Welsh Government allows.
All are managed on the behalf of the council and Swansea people by two organisations that, like many around the UK, face significant challenges due to the pandemic.
The LC and leisure centres are run by not-for-profit trust Freedom Leisure, while Plantasia is run by specialist business Parkwood Leisure.
All these Swansea facilities have been temporarily closed under government restrictions that came in to force on March 20.
Labour Cllr Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “Plantasia, the LC and our leisure centres help create an active and healthy city and are also important tourist facilities as part of Swansea’s offer as a visitor destination.
“It’s crucial to the wellbeing of our residents that such facilities – and our partners who run them on our behalf – are allowed to look forward with confidence and that we can support them in hard times such as this.
“These facilities will also be important to our communities and visitors as we come out of the pandemic.”
The Labour Cabinet agreed to a package of support that included:
- continuing the financial support for the two organisations which would total around £800,000 for April-July
- further continue the support if the facilities remain closed after July
- approve and cover the possible £1m cost of Freedom Leisure’s phased five-month reopening plan for its Swansea venues. This would involve minimal temporary closures and a pricing strategy that reflects temporary closure, partial reopenings and post-pandemic changes to operations
- approve and cover the possible £100,000 cost of Parkwood Leisure’s six-month reopening plan for Plantasia which would involve staggered entry times, cashless transactions where possible and a review of timetabling to ensure that the safety of staff and visitors remains a priority.