On 31 July, the Welsh Government’s First Minister announced that leisure centres were permitted to re-open in Wales from Monday, 10 August. Whilst the First Minister’s statement advises that leisure centres CAN re-open from 10 August there remains in place several conditions relating to certain indoor and outdoor activities which mean that not all of Aura’s leisure services WILL re-open from 10 August. These conditions relate to accompanying national governing bodies’ guidance relating to individual sports, together with Aura’s number one priority, the health and safety of our customers and employees.
Aura has developed some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) which we hope will make things clear regarding our approach to the re-opening of leisure centres.
- Which leisure centres will be open from 10 August?
Jade Jones Pavilion Flint and Mold Leisure Centre will open from 10 August but only for gym and fitness class customers. Access to the gyms and fitness classes will be managed via advance bookings only (see Questions 6 and 7).
The swimming pools at these two sites will open from 17 August but only for lane and club swimming.
Children’s swimming lessons will resume in September.
- Why isn’t Buckley Leisure Centre opening from 10 August?
Buckley Leisure Centre will open from 17 August but only the swimming pool (lane and club swimming) and outdoor grass pitches and tennis courts will be accessible.
Children’s swimming lessons will resume in September.
- Why isn’t Deeside Leisure Centre opening from 10 August?
Deeside Leisure Centre has been selected as the location for the emergency hospital to serve the Eastern Area of North Wales (Flintshire and Wrexham) in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The hospital will remain available until there is no longer any need for additional capacity to support the delivery of health care services in North Wales. It is unlikely that Deeside will be returned to Aura for resumption as a leisure centre before early 2021.
- Outdoor sports facilities have been permitted by Welsh Government to re-open from 13 July. Which Aura-managed outdoor facilities will be re-opening?
The 3G pitch at Flint High School will re-open for Aura-led coaching sessions only from 10 August.
The artificial turf pitch (ATP) at Mold Leisure Centre and the 3G pitch at Flint High School will re-open from 17 August for national governing body (NGB) affiliated clubs.
Aura will enable the reintroduction of outdoor organised recreational team sports once the appropriate national governing body (NGB) has provided an action plan for the sport and once the club(s), which will lead the activity under the NGB’s oversight, is able to demonstrate its adherence to the NGB guidance at local level.
The ATP at Buckley Leisure Centre is due to be replaced from 17 August with work anticipated to be completed by the end of September. Buckley ATP will not, therefore, re-open to the public until the new carpet has been installed.
The outdoor grass pitches and tennis courts at Mold will be accessible from 17 August.
- What will Aura’s gyms be like when they re-open?
Only the gyms at Jade Jones Pavilion Flint and Mold Leisure Centre will be available from 10 August.
The gym at Flint has been extended into the indoor flat green bowling rink. Half of the bowling rink will be used to accommodate fitness equipment and the other half will be utilised for fitness classes.
Mold’s gym has been extended into the two first floor studios.
For gym customers that previously exercised at Deeside Leisure Centre, the principle of being able to access all of Aura’s gyms as part of a single membership continues. Aura encourages all Deeside gym members to access the fitness suites at Flint and Mold.
Similar to other customer-facing sectors of the economy, gyms and fitness classes will have to follow strict social distancing guidelines when they re-open to the public. Things will be a little bit different to the last time you visited an Aura facility and you will notice the following changes:
• Capacity limits in the gym controlled by a timed booking system
• Reduced fitness class sizes
• Spaced out equipment
• Temporary floor markings
• Changing rooms will be unavailable with customers encouraged to shower and change at home (toilets will be available)
• Bring your own water bottle as the drinking fountains will be unavailable
• Arrive ‘light’ as there will not be anywhere to store bags or keys.
Aura will be reviewing its new operating procedures upon re-opening and any necessary adjustments will be made accordingly. Please bear with us as we reintroduce and develop our leisure services on a phased basis.
Despite these changes, a friendly and helpful Aura team member will always be on hand to assist your visit in any way they can. Please take the time to read our Customer Charter here
- How do I book a session in an Aura gym when you re-open?
Gym sessions will be available to book from 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, 5 August in advance of the gyms re-opening on 10 August. Due to anticipated demand and restricted capacity, existing members that have a direct debit or another type of subscription will be given priority over pay-as-you-go customers.
Returning gym users will be advised to update their health screening record if their medical condition(s) has changed during the period of closure. Please speak to an Aura team member to update.
Aura’s number one priority is the health and safety of our customers and employees. Please take the time to read our new Customer Charter here
Gym sessions will be limited to 60 minutes only. Customers will be provided with a defined start and end time for their session. It is the customer’s responsibility to arrive on time for their allotted session in order to ensure they maximise the available 60 minutes. The end time will remain the same in the event of the customer arriving late.
To book onto a gym session at Jade Jones Pavilion Flint or Mold Leisure Centre, please book online here or contact a member of Aura’s Customer Services Team via telephone on 01352 704302 / 704316 (Mon – Fri, 8:30am -5:00pm).
- How do I book onto fitness classes when you re-open?
Indoor fitness classes will be available to book online (www.aura.wales) from Wednesday, 5 August in advance of leisure centres re-opening on 10 August.
Online fitness classes have been running for several weeks and are currently FREE of CHARGE. Please click here to view the class schedule and to obtain email contact details for each class instructor. From 10 August, non-members can access the classes for FREE by signing up to a direct debit (with no payment taken until 5 October 2020). From 10 August, non-members can also access the classes on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Outdoor fitness classes commenced at Mold Leisure Centre and Flint High School in mid-July. These classes are currently FREE of CHARGE for customers with a frozen direct debit membership though non-members can also access the classes for FREE by signing up to a direct debit (with no payment taken until 5 October 2020). From 10 August, non-members can also access the classes on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
Following the closure of Aura’s leisure centres in March 2020, we want to let existing customers know how we will be treating their monthly or annual memberships upon re-opening on 10 August.
- I paid my last monthly direct debit on 5 or 19 March and you closed the leisure centres from 20 March. What will happen to this payment as I didn’t receive my full month’s value?
Direct debit payments received in March would normally have been valid for the period 5 March to 4 April or 19 March to 18 April. As you know, Aura closed its leisure centres following Government advice on 20 March meaning customers did not receive their full month’s credit.
Throughout Aura’s current period of closure, all members’ direct debits have remained ‘live’ though we have not collected any payments during this time.
With the news that leisure centres are able to open again from 10 August, we will ‘unfreeze’ direct debit accounts for gym and class members that use Jade Jones Pavilion Flint and Mold Leisure Centre but will not resume taking direct debit payments until 5 or 19 September meaning that our loyal customers will receive their outstanding time credit from March, plus a little bit more, as a thank you for staying with us.
Jade Jones Pavilion Flint and Mold Leisure Centre customers DO NOT need to do anything to reactivate their direct debit payment relating to 5 or 19 September 2020.
Direct debit accounts for members that use Buckley or Deeside Leisure Centre will continue to be frozen and no payments will be collected.
Buckley and Deeside Leisure Centre customers DO NOT need to do anything to keep their direct debit account frozen with Aura. However, if Buckley and Deeside customers DO WISH to ‘unfreeze’ their direct debit membership in order to access the gyms and fitness classes in Flint and Mold then they can do so by contacting a member of Aura’s Customer Services Team at email@example.com or via telephone on 01352 704302 / 704316 (Mon – Fri, 8:30am -5:00pm).
- My direct debit relates specifically to the Ice Rink or Skate Park or Spa at Deeside Leisure Centre and I made my last payment on 5 or 19 March. What will happen to this payment as Deeside is now a hospital?
Aura will continue to ‘freeze’ specific Ice Rink or Skate Park or Spa direct debit memberships indefinitely whilst Deeside remains under the management of the Health Board. Alternatively, customers wishing to discuss or cancel their direct debit can do so by contacting a member of Aura’s Customer Services Team at firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone on 01352 704302 / 704316 (Mon – Fri, 8:30am -5:00pm).
- I paid upfront via cash/card for one of the following memberships prior to the leisure centres closing on 20 March:
• NERS Saver16
• Monthly CASH
What will happen to the remaining days, weeks or months of time credit that apply to my membership?
In all circumstances, the previous expiry date will be extended to mirror the length of the period of closure for leisure centres.
Please can we advise all customers to visit our website and to follow us on Twitter (@aura_wales) and Facebook (@walesaura) for further updates.
Aura’s Customer Services Team can be contacted at email@example.com or via telephone on 01352 704302 / 704316 (Mon – Fri, 8:30am -5:00pm).