A LIFELINE deal appears to have rescued several leisure centres which many feared had been shut for good last March.

South Towns Leisure (SDL) will take over the running of sites across Adur which were previously operated by Adur Community Leisure.

Adur Community Leisure, which was contracted by Adur District Council to run Lancing Manor Leisure Centre, Southwick Leisure Centre and Wadurs Community Pool in Shoreham, collapsed last summer.

Bosses said this was "due largely to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic", and 150 members of staff were made redundant as all sites were closed. 

The three leisure centres have been shut since the start of the first national lockdown. But now, almost a year on, it looks like they could be saved.

SDL has taken over the running of the centres and preparations have begun to reopen all three sites "as soon as the government lifts lockdown rules".

Adur District Council’s executive member for the environment, Councillor Emma Evans, said: "I’m delighted we have got this deal over the line.

"South Downs Leisure has an excellent record of delivering first class sports and leisure services and I am sure we in Adur will benefit from its expertise.

"This deal means that, as soon as the government decides it is safe to do so, we will be able to reopen these facilities which, if lockdown has taught us anything, we know can play an important role in helping with our health and wellbeing."

SDL already operates leisure and community services in Worthing including the Splashpoint Leisure Centre, Worthing Leisure Centre and Davison Leisure Centre as well as the Field Place Manor House and Barns.

It is now looking to provide memberships which offer access to all of its sites across Worthing and Adur.

Chief Executive of SDL, Duncan Anderson, said: "It's great to be working in partnership with Adur District Council to take over the operation of these leisure facilities and get them ready for reopening to the community with a new and improved membership package. 

"In the meantime we would encourage all residents in Adur to download our South Downs Leisure App which has 45 free weekly classes being live streamed each week."