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Local leisure centres in the borough of Rochdale have reopened their doors to the public following a month of closure and have picked up glowing customer satisfaction scores in the process.

Following the national lockdown, Heywood Sports Village, Littleborough Sports Centre, Middleton Arena and Rochdale Leisure Centre reopened their doors, under Tier 3 restrictions.

Link4Life, the Rochdale-based culture and leisure charity responsible for the centres, has exceeded Government guidelines to ensure that their venues are COVID-secure; helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep the local community as safe as possible when visiting.

Prior to the second national lockdown, the leisure centres received glowing customer satisfaction scores through mystery visits and independent national benchmarking research, both of which showed Link4Life achieving higher scores than the national average.

The overall score from mystery shops averaged 94 per cent, with some sites scoring as high as 97 per cent – ten per cent higher than the UK national average. The charity also topped out in several categories, scoring 100 per cent for both ‘adherence to recommended guidelines’ and ‘confidence’ from customers.

Andy King, CEO at Link4Life said: “As we head into the winter, the need for safe indoor exercise facilities is essential for both physical health and mental health, so we’re glad the Government made the decision to let gyms and leisure facilities remain open. It’s been shown that the transmission rate in gyms is extremely low and we’ve taken steps to keep people as safe as possible when visiting our facilities.

“We know our centres aren’t just used for keeping fit, our member feedback shows us that people enjoy, and have missed, the social interaction that comes with visiting and taking part in activities. Therefore, being able to reopen has been so important – our centres are safe and they’re essential to the communities they serve.

“Link4Life is part of the social fabric of the Rochdale community, so the safety of our members, customers and staff remains our highest priority. That’s why we were delighted with the customer satisfaction results, especially the top scores in the categories relating to safety and customer confidence.”

During the second lockdown, Rochdale Leisure Centre underwent £400,000 worth of improvements to resolve issues with hot water and heating systems. The works were planned for January 2021 but were brought forward in line with the UK-wide lockdown to minimise disruption to members at a later date.

“We’re always striving to do the best by our members and our customers and make our facilities welcoming places to visit, and so we brought forward the works planned for January,” continued Andy.

“With this, it has minimised disruptions in the new year and members and customers can enjoy the benefits of these upgrades.”