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Aberdeenshire sports facilities set for phased reopening

By David Porter

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Across Aberdeenshire Council run gyms, swimming pools and indoor sports courts will start to reopen from Monday, August 31 in a phased manner.

Fraserburgh pool is one of only a very limited number which is set to reopen.
Fraserburgh pool is one of only a very limited number which is set to reopen.

A spokesman for Live Life Aberdeenshire who operate the facilities said: "We’ve been planning for the resumption of our activities in communities since the start of lockdown and have put lots of measures in place to keep customers and staff safe.

"We’re taking a phased approach, so we won’t be opening all of our facilities at once, to ensure the safest and best customer experience and to ensure reopening is as efficient and cost effective as possible.

"Facilities will also be offering “welcome back” deals throughout September, including discounted entry fees and half price monthly passes, with great prices for over-60s, students, young people and those on low incomes.

"Some facilities have been undergoing improvement works which couldn’t take place earlier in lockdown due to restrictions and won’t open immediately as these are completed."

From Monday, August 31 the following facilities will open with altered opening times and reduced availability -

Peterhead Leisure and Community Centre; Fraserburgh Community and Sports Centre; Deveron Community and Sports Centre, Banff; Turriff Sports Centre; Banchory Sports Village; Stonehaven Leisure Centre.

Some facilities will not be immediately available, such as the swimming pool at Banff’s Deveron Centre.

The Banff pool has been undergoing improvements to its tiling in response to customer feedback and is expected to open within the next few weeks.

Group lets cannot be offered until September 14, but clubs can contact their nearest facility to gain access ahead of that date to assist them in making preparations.

This means that as yet, there is no opening date for Turriff, Alford, Ellon or Inverurie swimming pools, indeed for Inverurie it is not even clear as yet which pool will open as the new Community Campus is not set to open its doors until at least October.

The reopening of the remaining Live Life Aberdeenshire facilities in future phases will be subject to the agreement of Aberdeenshire Council, considering community need and the current financial position.

Staff have been hard at work preparing facilities that are about to open to help keep customers and staff safe.

They have also been undergoing training to ensure the customer experience is the best it can be.

Screens, signs, one-way routes and other precautions have been put in place and session times and venue capacities have been reviewed to allow for social distancing.

Enhanced cleaning regimes and facilities for customers to wash hands, use sanitiser and clean personal equipment are in place.

Changing facilities will be limited and customers are asked to come clothed ready for their activity and to bring minimum belongings with them wherever possible, as locker facilities may be limited.

All customers will also be asked for their contact details to comply with track and trace requirements.

As with other Live Life Aberdeenshire facilities which have reopened, including Macduff Marine Aquarium, Aberdeenshire Farming Museum and Alford and Huntly ski centres, booking in advance will be necessary.

The Learn to Swim programme continues to be suspended until further notice and work continues to develop a swimming lesson programme at each reopened facility.

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