A range of Peterborough leisure outlets and libraries are set to open again in August, but we won’t be able to use the Lido this year and there’s still no word yet on some local attractions, as the city council takes on the running of services previously handled by Vivacity.
The Vivacity culture and leisure trust announced in June that it was terminating its contract with Peterborough City Council due to the devastating impact of the pandemic and widespread closures. The authority’s been working closely together with Vivacity to develop a plan for the handover and to establish which services can reopen.
Vivacity ran local libraries, Vivacity Premier Fitness, the Regional Swimming Pool, the Athletics Track, the Lido as well as Jack Hunt, Bushfield, Hampton and Werrington leisure centres along with the Key Theatre, Flag Fen and the Museum.
A 90 day transition period is underway and the city council’s been looking into what can open again during that time, taking into account the Government’s latest announcements regarding the re-opening of leisure facilities and social distancing restrictions. Vivacity will continue running the services until September when the services will then transfer back to the council.
Councillor John Holdich, leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “It is vitally important that we have a strong arts, leisure and cultural offering as we come out of lockdown and head towards economic and social recovery.
“We will continue working with Vivacity to ensure that all services that are safe to open do so, as soon as possible.
“Once the 90-day transition period is over, we will switch our attention to using arts, culture and the heritage of our City to help us on our road to recovery. We will continue working with the Arts Council England on our future Cultural Strategy in the autumn to ensure it meets the changing needs of residents in a post Covid-19 world.”
For those keen to make use of local libraries the Central Library will open in August (exact date to be confirmed) and will operate a restricted service from 10am – 4pm Monday to Friday, and 10am – 2pm on Saturday. The library and returned items will be cleaned before and after opening.
Other libraries will be opened in a phased approach, with larger libraries opening by the end of August in time for the start of the school term and smaller libraries opening by the end of September, subject to the Covid-19 R rate reducing in Peterborough and you will need to wear face coverings inside.
All being well it’s intended the Vivacity Premier Fitness, the Regional Swimming Pool and the Athletics Track will open as soon after July 25 as possible – most likely in August.
Jack Hunt, Bushfield, Hampton and Werrington leisure centres will open at a later date, but hopefully before the end of September.
We won’t be taking an outdoor splash at The Lido this year but the council’s working with the ‘Friends of the Lido’ to plan for its future.
There are still high hopes we’ll be able to attend shows at The Key Theatre and visit the Museum and Flag Fen but plans for these attractions are still being worked on.
Councillor Steve Allen, cabinet member for housing, culture and recreation said: “The council is building a short-term plan to get services up and running, which will include transferring all eligible staff who are currently in services that are coming back to the council.
“This is a complex transition involving the future of different services, venues and staff. We also have the added threat of Covid-19 and a duty to keep the residents we serve safe. With the current rates of community cases of Covid-19 in Peterborough being a concern, we have to carefully consider the latest Government advice and the challenges for each service and venue – including the social distancing restrictions that will need to be implemented and the staff numbers required – before deciding whether they are safe to open.”