Poulton YMCA centre and pool open again and ready for public sessions next month
Poulton Leisure Centre and swimming pool has reopened after being closed for the last 18 months.
Owner Wyre Council and Fylde Coast YMCA, which operates the centres on its behalf, have announced that the amenities will be brought back into active use again this month as part of the phased reopening of leisure centres across Wyre.
The Poulton site is the last one to reopen after the centres in Thornton, Garstang and Fleetwood reopened back in May, following closures due to Covid restrictions.
Poulton has reopened later because, for the past five months, it has been used to provide a vital community service as a rapid test centre.
It has not been all plain sailing for the pools, Wyre Council was plunged into controversary last year over a contentious decision to agree to eventually reopen Garstang and Thornton centres before Fleetwood and Poulton.
Opponents queried that decision by the Cabinet and Wyre Labour councillors accused members of using "dodgy data" to justify the move.
There was even a campaign in Fleetwood called Save Our Swimming Pool amidst fears the port centre may not reopen at all.
But the clouds have long passed and Poulton is now set to open once again, beginning with school swimming lessons yesterday (on Thursday September 9, Learn 2 Swim classes from Monday September 20, public swimming from Saturday October 2 followed by fitness classes from Monday October 4.
Coun Lynne Bowen, portfolio holder for Leisure, Health and Community Engagement at Wyre Council said: “We are so pleased to be able to announce the reopening of Poulton YMCA Leisure Centre.
“Our leisure centres are at the heart of local communities and provide a hub for people to get back out and socialise, as well as improve their fitness and wellbeing in a safe environment.
"During the pandemic, Poulton leisure centre was nominated to operate as a testing site to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and we would like to thank all the staff involved in this.
"They have done a brilliant job, swiftly setting up the centre and providing a safe and secure testing facility for local people.”
John Cronin, YMCA Fylde Coast CEO said “We are delighted and thankful to reopen Poulton YMCA Leisure Centre.
"We understand the crucial role the centre plays as part of the local community in keeping everyone active and we will continue to support local communities in any way we can.
"There is no doubt that the recent pandemic has had a negative impact on our health, both physically and mentally.
"Our local YMCA leisure centres are essential for the recovery process. We urge people to make use of the facilities on offer, as being active will help to boost your physical and mental wellbeing.”
The YMCA has written to all existing members with further information and all existing swimming lesson pupils will be contacted soon by the swim coordinator to arrange future lessons.