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Cornwall Council calls on Government to protect county’s leisure centres

Cornwall Council and GLL are calling on central Government to provide additional funding to protect the future of Cornwall’s leisure centres. 

Since Cornwall Council and GLL agreed a supplier relief package of £4.2 million in September last year, the industry has been further hit by two more lockdowns. 

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The current closure will have an even greater impact on leisure centres, coming during the peak period for trade in a normal year. 

A national request has been submitted to the Treasury on behalf of leisure providers, the Local Government Association and Sports England of the need for support of £600m.  

However, to date the government has launched a new fund of only £100m to cover the period from December 2020 to March 2021. 

Councils and suppliers are in the process of submitting complex bids requesting a share of the money. 

Adam Paynter, deputy leader of Cornwall Council, said: “We are calling on Westminster to put in place a credible sector-based support package that covers the whole period of the disruption dating back to last March. 

“We are applying for a share of the £100m fund but this is simply not enough. The Government must do more to protect our leisure centres.” 

James Curry, GLL’s Head of Service in Cornwall, said: “The latest lockdown couldn’t have come at a worse time for the leisure industry. January is traditionally one of our busiest months as people commit to getting healthier and fitter for the summer and re-building our membership figures, which had already been significantly eroded by the pandemic, is a matter of real concern.
 
“We continue to work closely with Cornwall Council and support them in their bid for a fair share of the £100m National Leisure Relief Fund. Government assistance is vital if our industry is to survive the current crisis and, as COVID has proved, public health and fitness have never been more important.
 
“GLL is a not-for-profit social enterprise and we are doing everything we can to help our local communities. That’s why we are offering a wide range of exercise classes free of charge online via our Better app and why we are actively lobbying for government funding to help keep our leisure centres going once they can be re-opened.”