Following a successful bid by Folkestone & Hythe District Council, the Marsh Academy Sports Centre in New Romney and Three Hills Sports Park in Folkestone have both been awarded much-needed financial support totalling £90,000 from the government’s National Leisure Recovery Fund.

The government has provided £100 million to 266 local authorities across England with the process managed by Sport England. In line with the government roadmap both of the district’s leisure centres re-opened on Monday 12 April.

The National Leisure Recovery Fund, which opened in December 2020, is designed to give the leisure sector the best chance of recovery in the medium to long term, by supporting with the reopening of publicly owned facilities, as well as being used to rebuild their customer base.

The core objectives of the National Leisure Recovery Fund are to:

  • Support the reopening of public sector leisure facilities and activities following the second period of national restrictions in England.
  • Provide the best chance of recovery to a position of sustainable operation over the medium to long term.
  • Sustain the delivery of activities (such as swimming) that aren’t widely accessible in the private market.
  • Enhance health and wellbeing and support physical activity across England – contributing to the government’s objectives around healthy lifestyles, reducing obesity and reducing inequality.

A council spokesperson said: “This is fantastic news for the leisure centres which have been hit especially hard over the past year. As national restrictions continue to change, our leisure centres will play a vital role in encouraging people to get active and healthy.

“We are extremely pleased to receive this money to help support these two leisure centres. The grant will go a long way to help with their recovery and will allow them to provide the best possible choice of COVID-secure activities that residents can enjoy once again”.

By Ed