Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced yesterday that while lockdown is being eased and many businesses will reopen from the 4 July, indoor leisure facilities including gyms and swimming pools are to remain closed.

Physical activity is proven to be of vital importance for both physical and mental health, and leisure centres provide an essential service to local communities. We are therefore backing Swim England‘s #OpenOurPools campaign.

Swim England will be presenting the campaign and petition to the government in response to the statement preventing the safe opening of facilities which are of such importance to the nation’s health and well-being.

As Sencio Chief Executive Jane Parish told BBC Radio Kent this morning, “everybody in the industry was surprised and disappointed that the government yesterday gave no indication of timeline, or any guidance [as to] when swimming pools and leisure centres can actually reopen.”

Leisure trusts across the country are under enormous financial pressures and many have been supported by their local authorities. Sencio is under further threat following the council’s refusal of financial support to help cover the costs incurred in maintaining their buildings. This recommendation is due to go to Cabinet on 9th July, where a decision will be made whether to grant a loan covering the ongoing utility costs we are incurring in maintaining the council-owned leisure centres.

You can get involved with the #OpenOurPools campaign too by signing the petition, writing to your MP and sharing the message on social media using #OpenOurPools. See the campaign webpage at swimming.org/swimengland/open-our-pools for more information.