Following Vivacity’s decision (18 June 2020) to terminate its contract with the council, Peterborough City Council has been working closely together with Vivacity to understand what services will be able to open before the end of a 90 day period to manage the transition.
Discussions have taken into account the Government’s latest announcements regarding the re-opening of leisure facilities and social distancing restrictions that will need to be adhered to and the current impact of Covid-19 on Peterborough.
The current intended position is as follows:
Libraries – 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 our city.
Vivacity will continue running the services until September when the service will transfer back to the council. Exact opening dates will be communicated shortly.
In line with government advice face coverings will need to be worn to access the library.
Leisure facilities – Subject to satisfactory risk assessments, we intend to open Vivacity Premier Fitness, the Regional Swimming Pool and the Athletics Track as soon after 25 July as possible. This is likely to be in August, dates to be confirmed.
Jack Hunt, Bushfield, Hampton and Werrington leisure centres will open at a later date, but before the end of September, subject to Covid-19 R Rate reducing in the city.
Vivacity will continue running the services until September when the service will transfer back to the council.
The Lido will not be opening for the 2020 season. Safety of our residents is of most concern and given the current situation of a high number of community transmitted cases of Covid-19 Public Health advice is that it is not appropriate to open the Lido – even for the last three weeks of the season which is the earliest it could be achieved.
This decision falls in line with the majority of outdoor pools which have confirmed they will not be opening for the 2020 season and has the support of the ‘Friends of the Lido’ who will be working with the council to plan for its future.
Visitor attractions – We will continue working on re-opening plans for The Key Theatre, Museum and Flag Fen. Further announcements on these will follow.
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.”
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.”