LEISURE centres across the borough are set to start reopening this weekend after being forced to close for four months during the coronavirus lockdown.

A phased reopening of the council's facilities will begin from Saturday, starting with Castle Leisure Centre gym and studio classes and Ramsbottom gym.

Radcliffe Leisure Centre gym will reopen on Sunday, and other activities, such as swimming, badminton and squash, will all follow in the coming days (see below).

Swimming lessons will restart later this year.

Councillor Andrea Simpson, cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: “This is a moment that so many people across Bury have been waiting for.

"Many thousands of us have sorely missed being able to visit our leisure centres, and are keen to get back to playing sport indoors and enjoying the fitness centres and swimming pools.

“However, the coronavirus has not gone away and we all need to be vigilant and follow the rules.

"The health and safety of our customers and our staff is paramount and, in line with government guidance and advice from Sport England and industry leaders, we have implemented new safety measures, undertaken thorough risk assessments and delivered training to the entire workforce."

To keep leisure facility visitors safe a number of changes have been made.

All sports activities must be booked and paid for in advance, either online or by phone.

Sessions will be limited to one hour’s duration. This is to allow everyone fair access to the facilities, the council says.

Toilets and changing rooms at leisure centres will be open, and hand sanitisers and social distancing signs have been installed.

Customers are also being advised to bring their own drinks bottles.

Cllr Simpson said: “Keeping fit and enjoying sport is good for our physical and mental health and we want to encourage people to be more active, more often.

"Having a phased approach to reopening, and introducing measures such as booking in advance, is essential to keeping us all safe and feeling confident in using the facilities.”

Castle Leisure Centre

• Gym sessions - July 25

• Fitness sessions - July 25

• Swimming sessions - July 28

• Badminton and squash sessions - August 3

Radcliffe Leisure Centre

• Gym sessions - July 26

• Fitness sessions - July 27

• Swimming sessions - July 30

Ramsbottom Pool and Fitness Centre

• Gym sessions - July 25

• Fitness sessions - July 25

• Swimming sessions - August 1

For more information visit www.bury.gov.uk/buryleisure-reopening