Attendance at leisure centers soars

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Visitation to major leisure centers in the St Albans district has soared by more than 60% in just one year, it has been revealed.

St Albans City and District Council has four centers – Westminster Lodge and Batchwood, both in St Albans, Cotlandswick, London Colney and one in Harpenden which has recently been rebuilt.

In the three months of April last year, when the centers reopened following a COVID-19 lockdown, there were 289,110 combined visits to the centres.

Since then, there have been significant increases in each subsequent quarter with 481,608 visits in the first three months of this year. This represents an increase of 67% over the 12 months concerned.

The figures were presented at a meeting of the Council’s public domain committee on Thursday, June 16.

After the meeting, Councilor Helen Campbell – chair of the committee – said:

It is very encouraging to see such substantial increases and I hope the trend will continue for some time to come.

We have four exceptional leisure centers with top-notch facilities for many sports and activities including swimming, badminton, gym sessions, tennis and foot football.

They also offer opportunities for a variety of classes and group activities such as dance, yoga, and spinning.

Maintaining physical and mental health is of vital importance to all of us and it is wonderful to see our residents of all ages, throughout our community, making increasing use of the centers and the range of activities on offer.

Harpenden Leisure Center was rebuilt as part of a £20 million development which also included the creation of a new cultural centre, the Eric Morecambe Centre.

Over 3,600 visits were made in its first week of April last year. It includes a 25-meter long swimming pool, a training pool, a state-of-the-art gymnasium, a gym and two exercise studios.

Cllr Campbell added: “The committee has been really impressed with how the center has established itself in its first year. I’m sure it will get better and better in the years to come, like our other centers.

Leisure entrepreneur 1Life runs Harpenden, Batchwood and Cotlandswick on behalf of the Council while Everyone Active runs Westminster Lodge.

More information about the centers is available on their dedicated websites:

Harpenden: https://www.1life.co.uk/Harpenden-Leisure-centre/;

Batchwood: https://www.1life.co.uk/Batchwood-Golf-Course-and-Sports-Centre/.

Cotlandswick: https://www.1life.co.uk/cotlandswick-leisure-centre/

Westminster Lodge: https://www.everyoneactive.com/centre/westminster-lodge-leisure-centre/.

Photo: Harpenden Leisure Centre.

Advisor Contact: Helen Campbell, Chair of the Public Domain Committee, 07743 338195, cllr.h[email protected]

Media contact: John McJannet, Senior Communications Officer: 01727-819533; [email protected]

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