LEISURE and library provider LiveWire has announced initial plans for reopening some sites in early July, in line with Government safety guidance.
All of LiveWire’s leisure and library sites have been closed since March 21st due to the current Coronavirus pandemic.
From early July LiveWire, the community interest company that manages Leisure and Library services in Warrington on behalf of Warrington Borough Council, hopes to be able to reopen some leisure and library sites, with social distancing protocols and increased hygiene measures in place, in line with Government plans to allow indoor leisure providers to begin to restart their services.
Reopening plans centre on the safety of customers and staff, and are aimed at giving customers plenty of space to exercise, and confidence to borrow books in a friendly, safe and hygienic manner.
Gym users will be able to enjoy an increased number of outdoor exercise classes – some of which have already launched.
Other key elements of the reopening of leisure sites include:
· Pay as you go options as well as all-inclusive memberships.
· Using outdoor and indoor spaces for physical activity.
· A contactless check in process and new one-way systems around parts of the buildings.
· Social distancing in reception, gym areas and group exercise classes.
· Redistribution of gym equipment around the Hubs to allow for social distancing.
· Enhanced deep cleaning schedules, including equipment.
· Hand sanitiser available for customers and staff.
The library service has seen a huge increase in the number of e-books borrowed during the closure period, and the focus on the digital offer will continue.
Other key points to the plan for reopening libraries are:
· There will be no charges for overdue books and other items issued from 1st March.
· Items on loan have had their loan period extended until 30th September.
· Social distancing in all areas of the library to keep both customer and staff safe.
· Restrictions on the number of people accessing the library at any one time and the duration of visits will be limited.
· A contactless returns and issue process.
· New one-way systems around parts of library buildings will be in operation, with floor markings and directional signs.
· All returned books will be quarantined for 72 hours before being returned to the shelves for people to loan.
Details of which leisure and library sites will be reopening will be announced soon.
Emma Hutchinson, Managing Director of LiveWire, said: “We consider ourselves and our customers a community, united in improving the physical and mental wellbeing of Warrington, something which is even more important than ever.
“We eagerly await being able to continue on this journey, even if things will be different than we are all used to.We’re confident the Covid-secure changes we are putting in place will allow people to safely enjoy the benefits that physical exercise brings.
“And we are thrilled to be able to start to reopen some of our libraries as we know how important they are to our communities.
“I’d like to thank our customers for their patience and loyal support during the months we have been closed, as well as Warrington Borough Council and our partners for their continued support.”
Cllr Tony Higgins, cabinet member for leisure and community, said “Throughout the lockdown period, LiveWire has had to explore new ways of connecting with their members and the public, including virtual exercise classes, cooking demonstrations, ‘Let’s talk’ wellbeing sessions, online support with weight management and stopping smoking, and loaning e-Books.
“This has been a great support for people to help maintain good physical and mental health during this challenging time, but it’s now fantastic news that they are able to open their doors again. Keeping fit and healthy is so important, now more than ever, and our neighbourhood hubs, leisure centres and libraries are a vital resource, offering huge benefits to the local community. I’m thrilled that people can start to get back to using these facilities and will be able to enjoy them safely.”
For more information visit www.livewirewarrington.co.uk/news