A PHASED re-opening of leisure centres across the Braintree district will start next week.

Bosses at Braintree Council agreed £480,000 of emergency funding for the Fusion Lifestyle centres today.

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

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

Fusion Lifestyle boss Carl Bentley said: "“We would like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding over the last few months.

"We are really looking forward to welcoming back our customers, members and groups.

"Being active has never been more important following lockdown and to make sure people can improve their mental and physical health."

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

Fusion Lifestyle says it will follow guidance from central government and national governing bodies such as UKactive and Swim England.

These measures will include additional signage, one-way systems, additional sanitisation and a booking system for all activities which will enable the centres to support the Government’s NHS Test and Trace service.

Gym and group exercise equipment will be spaced out around the centres and there will be limits on the number of people who can take part in activities.