South Cumbrian Leisure Centre Receives Funding Boost For Post-Lockdown Reopening

Grant funding has been secured from the National Leisure Recovery Fund to support the reopening of Dalton Leisure Centre once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

The facility – an independent, trustee-run centre in Chapel Street, Dalton – will receive £26,000 to ensure it can continue to offer sports and leisure services to visitors as soon as it is safe to do so.

The award was made after Barrow Borough Council submitted an application to the fund in December.

Councillor Ann Thomson, the leader of Barrow Borough Council, said: “Supporting sport and leisure is very important to us as a council so news of this funding award is extremely welcome.

“Dalton Leisure Centre is an excellent facility in the borough and something we know helps to boost the health and wellbeing of our residents.

 “The leisure sector across the UK has been hit very hard over the past year through three national lockdowns, Tier 4 restrictions and with measures in place to enable crucial social distancing. 

“Running costs did not disappear when the doors had to close and we know it was extremely frustrating for the trustees of Dalton Leisure Centre that they didn’t meet the Government’s criteria for a business grant.

“We want people to be able to return to enjoy the facilities as soon as it is possible – this grant from the National Leisure Recovery Fund will help to make that happen.”

Councillor Shaun Blezard, Barrow Borough Council lead member for Arts, Culture and Leisure and member for Dalton South, said: “I am so pleased this funding has been awarded to Dalton Leisure Centre.

“The benefits of sport and exercise on people’s overall wellbeing cannot be underestimated.The team at the centre work really hard to make sure people can access a good range of leisure activities in Dalton. This money will help the centre to reopen its facilities to the public once again when Covid restrictions allow.”

The National Leisure Recovery Fund was created to support publicly-owned leisure facilities through the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

It recognises the impact COVID-19 restrictions have had on sport and leisure facilities since the start of the pandemic with the funding delivered through Sport England.

Bernard McPeake, director of Dalton Leisure Centre, a non-profit organisation, also welcomed news of the award.

He said: “The centre is an asset to the community and is well-loved and used by residents throughout the area.

“The last year has been incredibly difficult financially because of the ongoing running and maintenance costs a facility like ours generates week in, week out. 

“This grant is most welcome at this crucial time and, along with all the other fundraising efforts, will hopefully secure the centre’s future. We will look to open up again as soon as it is safe to do so.”