A leisure operator has faced criticism after its sports centres stayed shut more than two weeks after the Government allowed them to reopen – and a council claimed it had asked for an extra £1 million to do so.

Fusion Lifestyle closed council-owned centres across Enfield and Haringey in March as the nation went into coronavirus lockdown.

But despite being given the green light to reopen on July 25, many centres are still shut – even though most council-owned centres in neighbouring Barnet, run by a different provider, are back open.

The ongoing closures, which came as Enfield Council and Fusion negotiated over reopening costs, led to fears people’s health and wellbeing could suffer.

Conservative leader Cllr Joanne Laban said: “Enfield’s Labour council and its leisure provider Fusion need to state when the centres will reopen.

“We understand that with social distancing measures the use of leisure centres will not be the same, but exercise is important in terms of people’s mental health, fitness and wellbeing.”

Enfield Swim Squad posted on Twitter: “Disabled and able-bodied swimmers’ physical and mental health is adversely affected by the continued closure of Enfield’s centres. Just open our pools.”


Fusion runs Edmonton, Southgate, Southbury and Albany leisure centres, as well as Arnos Pool and Bramley Bowls Hall. In Haringey, it runs Tottenham Green Pools and Fitness, Park Road Pools and Fitness and Broadwater Farm Community Centre.

On Tuesday (August 11), Enfield Council issued a statement revealing Fusion had asked it to subsidise the reopening of leisure centres in the borough and pay costs over and above those laid out in its contract with the leisure provider.

Council leader Cllr Nesil Caliskan said: “Over the past few weeks, Enfield Council has made it clear to Fusion that we expect them to open up all the leisure centres in the borough. But we were not willing to hand over £1 million, which is essentially what Fusion were asking for and presumably opposition members wanted us to do.

“Instead, Enfield Council has held Fusion to account on their contract and fought hard to ensure value for money for Enfield residents.”

A spokesperson for Fusion Lifestyle said: “We know our leisure facilities are really important for the health and wellbeing of the local community, and we have been working in partnership with Enfield Council to get them open again as soon as they are safe and viable to do so.

“Therefore, we are so pleased to announce that will be phasing the reopening of our centres in the coming days. Southbury, Edmonton, Albany and Southgate leisure centres will open on August 20.

“We are reviewing our plans for the remaining facilities and will open these when they are safe and viable to do so. We hope the residents of Enfield will bear with us whilst we implement our reopening plans and they can soon enjoy their centres once again.”

In Haringey, the lido at Park Road Pools and Fitness opened on July 17. Health and fitness will follow on August 13. Tottenham Green Pools and Fitness will open on August 14. Fusion says it is reviewing plans for the remaining facilities.