Preston and South Ribble entertainment venues celebrate reopening after lock-down

Several Lancashire business owners have spoken of their joy after being allowed to reopen following nearly six months in lockdown.

Tuesday, 8th September 2020, 7:00 am
Harriet Gingell, owner of Sparkle Dance Studio & Fitness Centre. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard.

Restrictions are gradually easing in England as the number of Covid-19 infections are kept under control. Venues like casinos and bowling alleys were due to reopen on Saturday, August 1, but plans were put on hold following a rise in coronavirus cases and several local lockdowns across the county.

Now one Preston venue, Sparkle Dance Studio and Fitness Centre, has moved out of its old premises in Green Bank and into its new home in Calder Street where it will welcome people to use its state-of-the-art facilities.

The centre boasts three studios, each with a smart TV and new dance flooring, allowing the business to provide both virtual lessons and more space for its 200 students to practice social distancing safely.

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Harriet Gingell, principal and owner, said: “Everything is completely brand new, we’ve doubled the timetable, have smaller classes and kids can get in and out more safely, so we’ve not had to pick and choose who can come back for lessons after lock-down.

“The kids we teach were so excited to come back. Some have been training online but others don’t have the technology or internet connection.

“Staying active is vital for mental health. Some children have had their confidence knocked as they’ve not been at school, so it’s important to keep their interests going.”

The 27-year-old added: “It’s a complete lifeline for us. We were one of the last types of venues able to reopen but we couldn’t straight away as we were refurbishing.

“We’ve had no income at all.”