We are pleased to announce that we will be reopening some leisure services at Gateshead International Stadium from Monday 7 December.
Director of Public Health, Alice Wiseman said "As Director with responsibility for health and wellbeing in Gateshead, the decision to keep our leisure services closed was a difficult one. Many of our leisure staff are currently engaged in the COVID-19 response, including helping to run community hubs that prepare and deliver food parcels, and speaking with our residents who are COVID-19 positive, as part of the Council's contact tracing and isolation programme. They will also be involved in the imminent introduction of large-scale rapid testing and the biggest vaccination programme in living memory. And the requirement for Council staff to fill these crucial roles will continue to increase".
Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure, Cllr Angela Douglas said "The Leader of the Council, Cllr Gannon, and I recognise the difficulty of balancing these competing demands. However, it is important we provide opportunities that help maintain the broader health and wellbeing of our residents; that's why we've worked to get some services back for the people of Gateshead, and I'm delighted that we are able to reopen these facilities. While this decision must be subject to the Council's priority of maintaining its essential frontline services for the benefit of everyone, we will keep reviewing the situation with the aim of providing a wider leisure offer as soon as practical".
This will initially be a limited offer while we mobilise staff to manage the service, but we will aim to fully open the gym, 3G football pitches and track (club bookings only). We will also look to re-open the gym facility at Birtley Leisure Centre as soon as possible. The Stadium gym will open from 8am to 3pm from Monday 7 to Wednesday 9 December, with regular opening hours resuming from Thursday 10 December.
Initially gym access will be restricted to members only. Until further notice casual users will not be permitted entry. Returning members must reactivate their membership in advance of returning. All gym sessions must be booked in advance with the facility subject to a strict maximum capacity. For full details visit www.gogateshead.com/reopening.
The Council fully recognises the importance of exercise in maintaining positive physical and mental health, and have encouraged people to maintain fitness in whatever way they can during these difficult times, which is why it was an incredibly difficult decision to continue the closure of our leisure centres as part of our COVID-19 response. We knew this outcome would cause disappointment for our valued customers and have listened to the comments and suggestions we have received.