West Suffolk leisure centres and Abbeygate Cinema to close until further notice

West Suffolk Council has followed Government instructions and is to close its five leisure centres as a measure to help delay the COVID-19 pandemic, with effect from 4pm on Friday, March 20.

The leisure centres are in Brandon, Bury St Edmunds, Haverhill, Mildenhall and Newmarket and are managed on behalf of the council by Abbeycroft Leisure.

Council Leader John Griffiths said: “We are acting on Government instructions to protect the health of our communities through avoiding unnecessary travel and minimising social contact. We appreciate the impact the loss of amenities will have on customers but hope they will agree that protecting more vulnerable residents is a priority, and look forward to welcoming them back as soon as is safe to do so. Our focus continues to remain on supporting and improving the health of our communities and businesses.”

Jo Rayner, Cabinet member for Leisure, Culture and Community Hubs, said: “We will be freezing memberships to avoid financial loss for leisure centre members and hope that they are able to maintain some wellbeing in our award winning parks and open spaces.

“Parents using our play areas with their children will understand the vital importance of hand washing and choosing less busy times, but will doubtless welcome being able to get outside. While bearing in mind national guidelines on travel and self distancing it’s worth noting that organisations around West Suffolk, such as the National Trust, are keeping their parks open for the same reasons.”

Other complex set to close on Friday are the Skyliner Sports Centre and Thurston Sports Centre


The Abbeygate Cinema and No.4 Restaurant & Bar will be closed from Friday, March 20, until further notice.

In a statement issued by the cinema it said: “We fully appreciate the way our customers have joined us at the cinema in recent weeks, during this challenging time, and we look forward to welcoming you again soon.

“As a result of this closure, we now have over 1.500 tickets to refund which we will process in chronological order over the coming days. The majority can be refunded automatically, but on some transactions, we will need to call you. Please do not contact the cinema directly – we will get to you, but this will take our small team some time to process.

“Some customers are already very kindly sending us messages of ‘Keep the Money, but in this situation we do have to fully refund the transaction.

“We will be launching a gift voucher campaign in the coming days, so if you would like to support the cinema and purchase gift vouchers that you can use in the future then do please visit abbeygatecinema.co.uk/vouchers/

“Memberships will be extended accordingly during our period of closure.

“Please keep an eye on our website and social media for updates.

“We thank you for your continued support and wish you and your loved ones the very best at this difficult and challenging time.”

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