One in three public leisure centres in England to remain shut as funds dry up

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Future of many council-owned sites hangs in balance as covid lockdown tips finances into red

Approximately a third of England’s public leisure centres will remain closed on Saturday as a widespread picture of financial distress among community leisure operators overshadows the long-awaited reopening of gyms and indoor swimming pools.

While privately owned chains such as PureGym, David Lloyd and Virgin Active are eager to proceed with opening plans, the charitable trusts behind the country’s 2,116 council-owned sites, are being circumspect as coronavirus restrictions tip their finances into the red.

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