Braintree Council bosses say they are lobbying the Government for compensation for leisure centres.

The council has announced a phased re-opening of the district's leisure centre starting today after agreeing a £480,000 bail-out deal.

Health and wellbeing boss Peter Tattersley said: “We have fantastic swimming pools, gyms and sports facilities in our district and a lot of hard work has gone into reopening them.

"Like many other leisure centre providers, Fusion has been particularly hit by the consequences of the lockdown, lack of government financial support and the anticipated reduction of footfall in the next few months.

"I am pleased we’ve been able to support Fusion through this unprecedented time.

"These facilities are vital to local communities and the physical and mental wellbeing of our residents.

"We will continue to lobby the government hard for similar financial compensation for leisure operators that many other sectors have received.”

Braintree Sport and Health and Witham and Halstead Leisure Centres will re-open for gym and group exercise today.

Adult lane swimming will start at Witham on August 10 and at Halstead and Braintree Swim and Fitness on September 7.

There will be extra measures in place to keep centre users and staff safe.