Phased reopening of Borders pools and gyms announced

Live Borders has announced it will put in place a phased reopening of some of its sports facilities, such as swimming pools and gyms, over the course of September.

By Kevin Janiak
Thursday, 27th August 2020, 1:53 pm
Updated Friday, 28th August 2020, 4:09 pm
Trifitness in Galashiels is one of the first Live Borders facilities to reopen on Wednesday, September 2.
Trifitness in Galashiels is one of the first Live Borders facilities to reopen on Wednesday, September 2.

The move follows the first minister’s statement that such amenities could open from August 31, as part of the route map out of lockdown.

The first facilities scheduled to open will be TriFitness in Galashiels and the Teviotdale Leisure Centre Gym facilities in Hawick, both scheduled to reopen from Wednesday, September 2.

The Galashiels Swimming Pool will open the following Tuesday, September 8, with the Teviotdale Leisure Centre pool following on Wednesday, September 9, and thouse in Eyemouth and Kelso on Monday, September 14.

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Initially, the pool programmes will be consist of lane swimming, club sessions and aquafit classes only. The Learn to Swim programmes will restart at a later date.

The guidelines on physical distancing mean that the gym capacity at Teviotdale will be restricted to 15 at any given time and TriFitness will accommodate 30 users.

Both swimming pools will be limited to a maximum of 24 swimmers per session, split over three extra-wide lanes.

Opening hours will be limited to ensure viability and that appropriate cleaning can take place. The initial opening times will be regularly reviewed to ensure they reflect demand and take into consideration any changes in local or national circumstances.

As for the other Borders facilities, Gytes Leisure Centre, Queens Leisure Centre and the Heritage Hub open on Monday, September 14; Peebles swimming pool on Monday, September 21; and Selkirk Leisure Centre, Galashiels Library and Borders Textile Towerhouse on Monday, September 28 – all at reduced capacity.

Information on how and when to book sessions will be shared with members and published on the Live Borders website.

Ewan Jackson, the CEO of Live Borders, said: “We know how much the community is looking forward to getting back to our venues and we have all been waiting patiently for this day to arrive.

“This announcement commences a gradual and measured approach to the opening of our sports services, and the team are working hard to ensure it is done with safety and customer confidence as top priorities.

“Ideally we would have opened the pools sooner following the first minister’s announcement.

“We have been managing the pool water carefully during lockdown and are now awaiting the results of microbiological tests to verify the pool water is safe for swimming.

“The test results are scheduled to be with us by the end of next week after which we will undertake a few days of essential lifeguard training before welcoming back swimmers.

“We want our members and customers to have a safe and enjoyable experience when they return to our pools and gyms, and are putting measures in place such as pre-booking, enhanced cleaning, social distancing and greater spacing of equipment to facilitate this.

“We know how important these facilities are in contributing to the wellbeing of our communities across the Borders, and we can’t thank our members and customers enough for their support through this difficult time.”

Councillor Euan Jardine, Scottish Borders Council’s executive member for culture and sport, said: “I am delighted that a number of key Live Borders facilities are set to reopen.

“A phased approach is being taken to the reopening of these facilities, with the safety of the public and Live Borders staff the highest priority.

“I look forward to seeing more of our area’s sports facilities opening their doors again in the coming weeks and months.”

Live Borders continues to review each of their services and news of further opening dates will be announced through its website at www.liveborders.org.uk