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Derry leisure centres to reopen but swimming pools to remain closed until further notice

Templemore and Foyle Arena to reopen on August 7

foylearena

The Foyle Arena.

Templemore Sports Complex and Foyle Arena will reopen to users on August 7.

However, they will only be open for gym and classes, with the swimming pools at both centres remaining closed for now.

Other council-owned centres in the city will also remain closed until further notice.

The decisions were ratified at a meeting yesterday of Derry City and Strabane District Council.

Councillors pproved a phased reopening of leisure facilities when they met virtually for their full monthly meeting. 

Councillors approved proposals to reopen tier one leisure centres at Foyle Arena and Templemore Sports Complex in Derry, the Riversdale Leisure Centre in Strabane and the Derg Valley Leisure Centre in Castlederg on Friday, August 7, subject to government regulations, for gym and classes only.

Karen McFarland, Director for Health and Communities, speaking at the meeting reassured elected members that extensive work had taken place at leisure facilities across the council to welcome the public back to the leisure centres and sports facilities next month.

She said: “It is important to note that Council has to work within the NI Executive’s COVID-19 guidelines and our staff are working behind the scenes to ensure everything is in place to ensure safe workout areas, hygiene and booking facilities whilst maintaining our high standards of service.

“Our priority is to reopen our tier one centres at Foyle Arena and Templemore Sports Complex in Derry, the Riversdale Leisure Centre in Strabane and the Derg Valley Leisure Centre in Castlederg in the first instance for gym and classes only.

“We have been looking at options and safe working practices to facilitate this and look forward to welcome back our customers on 07 August.”

Ms McFarland added that the facilities will have a number of restrictions in place and a booking system will be in place from July 31.

In relation to tier two leisure centres at Brooke Park, City Baths, Melvin and Bishop’s Field, members were informed that effective social distancing was problematic at these sites and they would remain closed but under review.

Councillors also agreed to a number of other operational changes within Council services including the reopening of the Council offices on Strand Road, Derry, and Derry Road, Strabane, to the public from Monday, July 27, with restrictions, and the reopening of the Registrar’s Office service in Strabane at Derry Road premises by bookings only from next week.

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