BRIDPORT Leisure Centre is set to benefit from close to £20,000 worth of grant funding.

The leisure centre has been awarded £14,000 as part of Sport England's 'Return to Play' grant, alongside a further £5,000 from Symondsbury Parish Council's 'Recovery' grant.

The funds will be put towards improvements to the centre's facilities - most notably to its changing rooms.

The leisure centre will be focusing on building works to improve its 'wet side' changing rooms, bringing them back into use and increasing the amount of swimmers in the pool at any given time.

The central aim of the work will be to install 11 additional cubicles to both the male and female changing rooms, including easily accessible and family changing cubicles.

Will Thrower, centre manager at Bridport Leisure Centre, said: "These are much welcomed improvements to the leisure centre, and we are excited to get the works underway imminently.

"Our main objective is to make the swimming pool changing rooms accessible. We looked at ways we can put cubicle changing rooms in and are delighted to be able to add 11 new cubicles throughout the two changing rooms.

"We are very lucky to be given this funding in the current climate and the changes will be a very welcome addition to the leisure centre."

Alongside the new cubicles, work will also be carried out to replace the lighting in both changing rooms with energy efficient LED panels, replace the old vanity units in place of new trough sinks and the re-grouting of both changing room floors.

Under the recently announced 'roadmap' out of lockdown issued by the government, it is hoped gyms and fitness centres will be able to reopen on April 12.

Mr Thrower added: "Our aim is to have everything ready to go for the reopening date in April. We're hopeful we should be able to get it all together by then.

"From an operators point of view at least we have a date which we can work towards now. Having that provisional date in the diary means we can work towards a plan – which we’re very much looking forward to.

"The main thing from our point of view is to continue to give members a safe space to exercise, whilst adhering to all existing Swim England and government restrictions and ensuring people are comfortable when visiting the centre."