Dalton Leisure Centre has been left delighted after securing a grant from the National Leisure Recovery Fund.

The £26,000 grant will ensure the centre can continue to offer its services to visitors once restrictions are lifted.

Bernard McPeake, director of the centre, has said the grant will help secure its future following the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said: “The centre is an asset to the community and is well-loved and used by residents throughout the area.

PLEASED: Director Bernard McPeake

PLEASED: Director Bernard McPeake

"The last year has been incredibly difficult financially because of the ongoing running and maintenance costs a facility like ours generates week in, week out.

"This grant is most welcome at this crucial time and, along with all the other fundraising efforts, will hopefully secure the centre’s future.

"We will look to open up again as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Barrow Council submitted an application to the fund in December.

After the centre was ineligible for a Government business grant, Barrow council leader Ann Thomson is pleased that its trustees can now plan for the future.

Councillor Thomson said: “Dalton Leisure Centre is an excellent facility in the borough and something we know helps to boost the health and wellbeing of our residents.

"The leisure sector across the UK has been hit very hard over the past year through three national lockdowns, Tier 4 restrictions and with measures in place to enable crucial social distancing.

"Running costs did not disappear when the doors had to close and we know it was extremely frustrating for the trustees of the centre that they didn’t meet the Government’s criteria for a business grant.

AWARDED: Dalton Leisure Centre will receive a £26,000 grant from the National Leisure Recovery Fund

AWARDED: Dalton Leisure Centre will receive a £26,000 grant from the National Leisure Recovery Fund

"We want people to be able to return to enjoy the facilities as soon as it is possible – this grant from the National Leisure Recovery Fund will help to make that happen.”

Barrow MP Simon Fell added: “This is a most welcome award, and thoroughly deserved too.

"Bernard and his team do an incredible job.

"The centre supports 17 local schools and is an important community hub.

"I remain adamant that we can’t afford to let this centre fail, and I recently raised the challenges that the centre faces in the House of Commons.

"I hope that the NLRF will give them the support that they need going forward."