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Plans To Re-Open Leisure and Cultural Facilities

Mid Ulster District Council has announced plans to re-open the first of its indoor cultural and leisure facilities.
Seamus Heaney HomePlace, the award-winning literary centre in Bellaghy, will welcome visitors back to experience the exhibition and enjoy the café from 10 July, and becomes the first of the Council’s visitor attractions to re-open.
Preparations are also underway to bring fitness suites in 3 local leisure centres back into use.
A re-opening date of 15 July for gyms in Cookstown Leisure Centre, Dungannon Leisure Centre and Greenvale Leisure Centre has been agreed.
The heritage site and exhibition at Ranfurly House and The Hill of The O’Neill will welcome its first visitors again on 31 July.
Chair of the Council, Councillor Cathal Mallaghan, called the re-openings ‘significant milestones’ in the Council’s plans for recovery:
“These are significant milestones for us as an organisation, for our customers and staff, and for local businesses, particularly as the tourism and hospitality sector begins to emerge from lockdown.
“Flagship visitor attractions, like Seamus Heaney HomePlace and The Hill of The O’Neill have an important role to play in stimulating and supporting the wider tourism economy and so their re-openings represent a hugely positive step for Mid Ulster as a whole”.
Commenting on the date for opening of indoor gyms at Council leisure centres, Councillor Mallaghan said:
“We had already begun planning for a staged re-opening of leisure centres and the date of 15 July gives us enough time to prepare to reconnect with our customers and to ensure our staff and our buildings are ready to give them a warm and, above all, a safe welcome back.
“The fact that restrictions are being eased at this pace and that we can all begin to return to places and to enjoy activities which we previously did as a matter of course, is down to the good work of everyone who has stuck with the rules, despite the often high personal cost”.   
Details of group exercise classes and access to swimming, together with further information about opening hours, pricing and membership arrangements will be available in due course.
A date for the re-opening of Maghera Leisure Centre, which is to benefit from investment in a new fitness suite, along with the indoor facilities at Mid Ulster Sports Arena, is to be confirmed.
Meadowbank Sports Arena will re-open in early September, when the venue is no longer being used for the production of PPE.

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