A LEISURE facility has been given a financial boost of more than £250k as it looks to reopen its doors.

Eastleigh's health, sports and fitness centre, Places Leisure is preparing to safely re-open on Monday 12 April, with the Eastleigh Borough Council's SportWorks and HealthWorks teams putting plans together to restart schemes at the centre.

Now though, thanks to a successful council bid to a government fund to support the recovery of publicly owned leisure centres, Places Leisure has been awarded a boost of £256,000 to help them emerge from lockdown.

The funding is now planned to go towards covering costs incurred during the lockdown period to enable a safe reopening of the leisure centre.

A council spokesperson said: "It has been a very challenging time for the leisure sector over the pandemic and their facilities are especially key for disadvantaged groups, who have been hit hardest over the past year. "

The funding is among £100m that has been allocated to 266 local authorities across England.

HealthWorks have recently live-streamed 16 new virtual Steady and Strong classes, aimed at older adults who may be at risk of falling, with 80 attendances across the Borough throughout February.

SportWorks’ Friday Night Football for 10 to 19 year-olds, Walking Netball and Walking Football also operate at the Places Leisure Eastleigh site and are planning to return as lockdown eases.

The council spokesperson added: "Creating healthy communities is a key aim for the Council and its Health and Wellbeing team have been helping residents increase physical activity, adapting to the challenge of the pandemic with virtual and online activities."