Fusion and Bedford Borough Council in talks over future of leisure facilities in the town

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Sector has been hit hard by pandemic

Bedford Borough Council is in talks to help secure the future of the various leisure centres Fusion Lifestyle manages.

The council has a 10-year contract with Fusion Lifestyle to manage eight leisure facilities on behalf of the authority, which is set to run until February 2024.

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They include Bedford International Athletic Stadium, John Bunyan Sports & Fitness, Kempston Outdoor Centre, Kempston Pool, Mowsbury Golf and Squash Centre, Oasis Beach Pool, and Robinson Pools & Fitness.

Bedford International Athletic Stadium, one of the facilities managed by Fusion LifestyleBedford International Athletic Stadium, one of the facilities managed by Fusion Lifestyle
Bedford International Athletic Stadium, one of the facilities managed by Fusion Lifestyle

Due to the pandemic, the leisure sector is facing significant difficulties as organisations work to reopen leisure centres in a safe and financially viable way.

And Fusion Lifestyle has requested significant financial support from the council to enable it to reopen facilities locally.

However, according to Bedford Borough Council, it is facing a huge financial challenge, with the costs of responding to the coronavirus pandemic creating a funding gap of more than £20million in its budget.

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And it has confirmed there are ongoing discussions between Fusion Lifestyle and the council, both around the long-term and an interim solution which will enable some leisure facilities to open in the near future.

Cllr Doug McMurdo, portfolio holder for leisure, said: “As a council we are doing all we can to try and find a solution that works for residents and users of the leisure centres, that is safe and financially viable for everyone.

“We look forward to Fusion confirming the safe reopening of the sites soon and look forward to seeing the facilities in use again.

“We will continue to encourage Fusion to improve their communications to customers and the wider public around this phased reopening and Fusion have produced a comprehensive list of FAQs on their website to address issues such as membership, refunds, bookings and classes.”

Customers with any specific questions around these issues can contact Fusion contract manager for Bedford Rob Jennings at [email protected].

The Fusion list of FAQs can be found here

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