Council has a ten-year contract with Fusion Lifestyle
With lockdown measures easing over the summer, various shops and other facilities locally began to open. Fusion Lifestyle and Bedford Borough Council are looking at options for local leisure facilities.
As a result of the challenges presented by COVID-19, the leisure sector across the country has faced significant difficulties as organisations worked to reopen leisure centres in a safe and financially viable way.
The Council has a ten-year contract with Fusion Lifestyle to manage eight leisure facilities. This is set to run until February 2024.
Between them, they are continuing to work hard to put in place arrangements that will allow residents safe access to the services that these facilities provide, whilst ensuring staff are protected also. Fusion Lifestyle have requested significant financial support from the Council to enable them to reopen facilities.
Bedford Borough Council said it is facing a huge financial challenge, with the costs of responding to the coronavirus pandemic creating a funding gap of over £20million in its budget.
With responsibility for adult social care, caring for vulnerable children, and statutory duties to keep the roads safe, collect waste, and a range of other services the Council added that it is already facing very difficult decisions in the coming months.
There are ongoing discussions between Fusion Lifestyle and the Borough Council, both around the long-term and an interim solution that will enable some leisure facilities to open in the near future. Cllr Doug McMurdo, portfolio holder for Leisure said:
“As a Council we are doing all we can to try and find a solution that works for residents and users of the leisure centres, that is safe and financially viable for everyone.
“We look forward to Fusion confirming the safe reopening of the sites soon and look forward to seeing the facilities in use again.
“We will continue to encourage Fusion to improve their communications to customers and the wider public around this phased reopening and Fusion have produced a comprehensive list of FAQs on their website to address issues such as membership, refunds, bookings and classes.”
Customers with any specific questions around these issues are asked to contact the Fusion contract manager for Bedford, Mr Rob Jennings, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fusion list of FAQs can be found here.