Adur's leisure facilities are set to get a £100,000 cash boost thanks to extra funding from Sport England.
Lancing Manor Leisure Centre, Southwick Leisure and Wadurs swimming pool in Shoreham, which are run by South Downs Leisure Trust (SDL), were hit hard by the Covid pandemic.
They were forced to close their doors last year and not allowed to reopen until May, leading to a huge loss in income.
However, they will now benefit from a £104,000 windfall from Sport England, a non-departmental public body responsible for growing and developing grassroots sport, from a National Lottery and public money pot to help towards reopening the leisure centres after the lockdowns.
Adur District Council's Executive Member for the Environment, Cllr Emma Evans, said:
“South Downs Leisure has provided first-class leisure facilities for many years now and took over the running of our leisure centres in Adur at the start of the year, but we are very mindful of the considerable financial impact of the pandemic on leisure services in the region.
“We feel it is wholly appropriate to use the Sport England grant funding to support SDL now it has reopened Adur's leisure facilities. This is effectively deferred expenditure from the previous financial year due to the extended closure of the venues, so the funding has been retained.
“If there is one thing the pandemic has shown us is just how important it is to stay active for both our physical and mental wellbeing and this extra funding will ensure Adur can benefit from top-class facilities.
“Over the past five months SDL has prioritised re-opening the centres and making sure that they are welcoming and clean, while people using the facilities and attending various classes has steadily grown since reopening.”
Chief Executive of SDL, Duncan Anderson, added:
“Like many businesses, the leisure industry was hit very badly by lockdowns as we simply were unable to open.
“But now restrictions have been lifted we have seen people flocking back to our leisure centres.
“This funding will ensure we can continue to give people in the region first-class facilities, while playing a vital role in improving physical and mental wellbeing.”
SDL took over the running of the centres, which closed last March due to the pandemic lockdown. It also operates leisure and community services in Worthing including the Splashpoint Leisure Centre, Worthing Leisure Centre and Davison Leisure Centre as well as the National award winning Field Place Manor House and Barns.
The Adur leisure centres were previously run by Adur Community Leisure (ACL) which declared itself insolvent during the lockdown in July. The buildings, which are owned by the District Council but were run by ACL, were immediately mothballed.
The proposed deal between Adur District Council and SDL is for five years and the Council will provide funds of more than £700,000 for that period. It has already spent £300,000 on maintaining the buildings and equipment.