EXCITEMENT and apprehension is felt amongst volunteers and owners of pools and leisure centres as the government announced re-opening plans.

From July 25, leisure centres and indoor swimming pools are allowed to re-open as long as there is adequate safety measures in place.

This news has been received positively by private pools and leisure centres which welcome the opportunity to re-open with safety measures in place.

Siobonne Brewster, owner of Dalston Leisure Centre said: “After a slight initial disappointment that we were a little bit delayed still, we are just thrilled to have been given a date and being able to open again which will be a great relief.

“We’re slightly different to a mainstream pool, we are a private pool so we have one group come at a time into the pool so for us social distancing in the pool is relatively easy.

“There are some who have mobility difficulties or mental health difficulties so this is quite a lifeline for them – to get out exercising when they weren’t in a position to just run down the street.”

Many of the council’s leisure centres are run by GLL, known as Better, and they have been preparing for the re-opening for a while now.

There is yet to be an announcement from GLL regarding the opening of the leisure centres but it is expected to be phased.

A spokesman for Copeland Council said: “Copeland Council and Better – who have our leisure contract to run Whitehaven Sports Centre, Copeland Pool and Fitness Centre and Cleator Moor Activity Centre – welcome the Government’s announcement on the reopening of our facilities.

“We know this will be welcomed by our valued customers, and we thank them for their patience and understanding during this enforced period of closure.

“We appreciate the guidelines in which we must now operate and the safety of customers and staff are paramount.”

We are working towards a gradual reopening of the facilities from the permitted date, with access being limited and operated under a booking facility for the initial period.

“We will work flexibly however, and will increase access to our facilities at the appropriate time.”

Although outdoor swimming pools are allowed to re-open from today, many in Cumbria had already taken the decision to not re-open for this season.

Shap Swimming Pool is one of many in the area that has taken the decision to not re-open for this season but it will be fundraising throughout the year ahead of hopefully re-opening next year.

Sarah Bruce, treasurer at Shap Swimming Pool, said: “It’s very disappointing but it’s good to see the messages of support.

“Hopefully we will have a few sessions up at the pool as a committee and do some socially distanced maintenance jobs.”