PREPARATIONS are underway for the reopening of a number of gyms and swimming pools in Inverclyde over the next two weeks.
Several Inverclyde Leisure (IL) will welcome customers for the first time in five months from Monday (31 August) following the easing of national restrictions.
The gyms at Gourock Outdoor Pool, Waterfront Leisure Complex, including the Express Ladies Fitness, and Ravenscraig Activity Centre, both in Greenock, Boglestone Community Centre in Port Glasgow, and Birkmyre Park in Kilmacolm will be back up and running.
There will also be a partial reopening of Greenock Sports Centre, including the CrossFit facility, initially as a strength and conditioning gym, and games halls.
Swimming at the Waterfront and the Gourock Outdoor Pool, which is currently being filled, will resume a week later on Monday 7 September to allow for the water to be heated, treated and for training to familiarise staff with new rules and regulations.
The regular swimming season at Gourock Pool usually comes to an end around this time of year but Inverclyde Council has committed £36,000 towards subsidising an extension until 31 October to help make up for some of the time lost because of the coronavirus pandemic.
There will be new safety measures in place for staff and customers, including wearing masks going to and from activities, and all activities must be pre-booked in accordance with national guidelines.
Swimmers must arrive ‘beach ready’ and customers will be provided with an area to get changed afterwards but lockers will not be available.
David McCorkindale, head of leisure for IL, said: “The team have been working hard behind the scenes to get ready for reopening as soon as we got the green light to do so.
“The health and wellbeing of customers and staff is our absolute priority and we’ve introduced robust measures to allow for a safe return to our fitness gyms and swimming pools.
“The gyms are ready to go on Monday (31 August) but the nature of swimming pools means they will take a little bit longer and they will reopen on Monday 7 September.
“I’m pleased that customers of Gourock Pool won’t miss out on outdoor swimming this year thanks to the support of our partners at Inverclyde Council. The pool is now being filled with fresh sea water from the River Clyde, which will be filtered, treated and heated to a cosy 29 degrees Celsius.”
Councillor Ronnie Ahlfeld, Inverclyde sports champion, said: “I commend IL for all the hard work they’ve done to prepare facilities for a safe reopening.
“While swimming at the Waterfront and Gourock Pool will take a little while longer, I’m sure it will be worth the wait for those who have waited patiently to dip their toe in the water.
“Work is ongoing to get the Waterfront pool ready and it’s great to see Gourock Pool filling up once again for the long-awaited start to the outdoor swimming season. It’s an important asset for Inverclyde and I’m pleased my fellow councillors unanimously agreed to fund an extension to the season, particularly after all that has happened this year. Here’s hoping for nice weather.”