Leisure and Community Services Update

Peter Bayne


Peter Bayne



Monday 14 December 2020 16:41

Following the conclusion of the Northern Ireland Executive's two-week circuit breaker, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has been considering the impact on its leisure and community services.

Please see below updated guidance in relation to these services effective from 11 December 2020:


Newry, Kilkeel and Down Leisure Centres

These facilities will OPEN, however are restricted as follows:

• Gyms for individual training only.

• Swimming pools, however only for individual lane swimming bookings and only for 12 years and older.

• Having considered the guidance, all Council led fitness classes have been suspended until further notice.

• Club bookings may be approved on a case by case basis in line with the regulations and subject to appropriate risk assessment.

• All activity sessions must be pre-booked on the NMD Be Active App, online or by phone (0330 137 4026).

St Colman’s Sports Complex

The 3G pitch and the athletics track will open on a restricted basis for individual training and group booking of up to a maximum of 15 people. Club bookings may be approved on a case by case basis in line with the regulations and subject to appropriate risk assessment.

Outdoor sports facilities, play parks and open spaces

• All council play parks and open spaces are open at this time and COVID-19 guidance must be adhered to.

• Outdoor exercise (such as tennis, football and athletics) is allowed in groups with a maximum of 15 people.

• Council outdoor sports facilities are open and normal booking procedures apply. There will be restricted conditions of hire and use and no more than 15 people to gather on our sites at any one time.

• Sports events (such as football matches) are allowed but are subject to a risk assessment if more than 15 people attending with measures in place to limit risk of virus transmission. There is an upper limit of 500 spectators.

• Facility users and bookings can only be approved on receipt of clubs/groups own risk assessments and procedures and approval must be obtained with officers via email on: Leisureandsport@nmandd.org

Initially the following facilities and services will REMAIN CLOSED from Friday 11 December 2020:

• All Council led indoor fitness classes, health suites and soft play.

• All Council pavilions and changing rooms.

• Ballymote Sport and Wellbeing Centre and the Newcastle Centre.

• All sports halls and multi-purpose rooms in all leisure and sports facilities. Club bookings may be approved on a case by case basis in line with the regulations and subject to appropriate risk assessment.

• All recreational swimming and group swimming tuition.

The Council is seeking further clarifications on a number of the new restrictions. At present the above will be in place from Friday 11 December 2020, however will be reviewed in light of any further changes to the regulations. The Council may make changes as it receives further clarification on the restrictions and allow a timescale for implementation. The Council appreciates anticipated understanding of the present fluid situation.

How will membership be impacted?

The Council has emailed all its members about the discounts they are entitled to for the partial closure of services from 14 November, the full closure of services from Friday 27 November as well as planned closures over the Christmas period. All memberships will also be extended or discounted to allow for this period of reduction in services effective from Friday 11 December and the Council will communicate these arrangements in due course.

Booking gym and swimming lane slots in advance

Users must book gym and swimming lane slots in advance on the NMD Be Active App. You can also book by phone on 0330 137 4026 or online. For more information visit: https://www.newrymournedown.org/leisure-facilities


Some Community Centres across the district remain open but will continue to operate on a restrictive basis. Focus will primarily be on the provision of childcare and library services and the Council will continue to work with existing hirers to facilitate necessary community activity. Contact 0330 137 4008 for further enquiries.

The Ethnic Minority Support Centre continues to remain open and is operating on an appointment basis only. All Council funded events will remain subject to robust pre-approved risk assessments and organisers are urged to strictly adhere to current guidelines. The Council will work with groups who wish to postpone events until community transmission risks have been reduced.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Laura Devlin said, “The easing of some restrictions in relation to Council leisure services will be very much welcomed by our members. However, please do carefully follow the COVID-19 restrictions on site for everyone’s safety.

“Most importantly, if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms do not visit any of our centres. For members who are visiting, remember to keep your distance, wash your hands well and often and make full use of hand sanitiser points. There will signage in place as you enter, but there is also detailed guidance for gym and pool users available on our website at https://www.newrymournedown.org/leisure-facilities, which I would encourage you to familiarise yourself with before you attend.”

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