A CITY centre swimming pool and gym is set to reopen.

The Prince Regent Swimming Complex in Church Street, Brighton, will open its doors to visitors on Monday for the first time in almost seven months.

The site was shut in line with coronavirus lockdown restrictions introduced in March.

But swimmers and gym-goers became concerned as, when gyms and leisure centres were given the green light to reopen by the government on July 25, the venue remained closed.

In a statement issued in July, Brighton and Hove City Council said that "leisure centres have been hard hit by the coronavirus outbreak, leaving many councils and their leisure partners stretched to the limit financially".

However, the Prince Regent Swimming Complex is now ready to reopen, and several improvements have been made to the site during its closure.

A council spokesman said: "While the centre has been closed during lockdown, there has been the opportunity to carry out major projects including replacing the old lighting system in the pool hall with new LED lighting and installing a more energy efficient ‘on demand’ water heating system. 

"Further plans to replace the air handling units (AHU) later this year have been rearranged for Easter 2021."

The council owns seven sports sites in the city; the Withdean Sports Complex, the Prince Regent Swimming Complex, the Stanley Deason Leisure Centre, St Luke’s Pool​​ and the Moulsecoomb Community Leisure Centre, all in Brighton.

It also owns the King Alfred Leisure Centre in Hove and the Portslade Sports Centre.

These are operated by Freedom Leisure.

The Prince Regent Swimming Complex is the last of the seven sites to reopen.

New safety precautions have been introduced to prevent the spread of coronavirus at the site.

Councillor Marianna Ebel, joint chairwoman of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee, said: “Staff at Freedom Leisure have worked extremely hard to prepare our popular leisure centres for reopening and to welcome back their customers to a safe and secure environment. 

“We know that for many residents, and especially those in the city centre, the re-opening of the Prince Regent will be long awaited and welcome news.

"We are glad that swimmers of all ages from across Brighton and Hove can once again access this space.”

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with Freedom Leisure to deliver affordable facilities in Brighton and Hove for everyone to enjoy.” 

Freedom Leisure managing director Ivan Horsfall said the return of the leisure complex was important to allow people to continue exercising through the winter, with lockdown measures set to remain in place.

He said: "As we approach winter it is going to be vital that the public have safe spaces in which to exercise and socialise.

"We have a variety of activity options and a friendly team to help everyone feel confident in using their local leisure centre to support a healthy lifestyle.”