LEISURE centres is Mid Sussex won’t re-open for ‘some time’, even if the government gives the all-clear.

The news was shared by district council leader Jonathan Ash-Edwards at a meeting on Wednesday (June 24), where he spoke about the impact the pandemic had had on the area.

The council has been losing £600k-£700k each month since the start of the lock-down, with the lack of income from the leisure centres representing a huge chunk of that money.

Mr Ash-Edwards told the meeting that closing the centres cost the council £270k per month – the loss of the £117k management fee usually paid by Places Leisure, and £156k each month to underwrite the costs of the closure, even after Places Leisure had accessed the furlough scheme.

Reopening the centres at a potentially 30 per cent capacity to allow for social distancing would cost the council even more – and Mr Ash-Edwards said that was not something Mid Sussex could afford.

He said: “We are working to model different options and negotiate with Places Leisure. This is not a quick process and formal decisions will be required in due course. I will keep the council updated.

“It is important though that I level with councillors and the public that, regardless of when the government says leisure centres can legally reopen, it will unfortunately be some time before we will be able to even partially reopen leisure centres in Mid Sussex.”

Mr Ash-Edwards said he understood how keen people were to use the leisure centres again but the council had to balance that with what it could afford.