Ewan Jackson

An Update from our CEO

Thursday 2 July 2020

It is 15 weeks since we closed all Live Borders facilities and services down due to the coronavirus risk. As I write, there has been a steady national reduction in the number of Covid19 deaths for the past six weeks and no new confirmed positive covid-19 cases in the Borders Region over a fortnight.

This sustained decline is encouraging and it has emboldened the Scottish Government to make significant changes to lockdown rules.  We continue to use the government’s route-map through and out of the coronavirus as guidance to the restarting of services and the reopening of venues. This guidance is constantly changing and flexing dependent on the conditions and scientific advice. We remain in consistent communication with the Government, Sportscotland, creative Scotland and other national bodies to ensure we are well informed and can subsequently make proactive decisions to enable a safe and managed resumption of services as quickly as possible

The improving picture allows us to cautiously progress plans towards restarting some of our services and reopening some of our venues. To reopen venues, when permitted to do so, we need to satisfy ourselves of the following criteria: 1) that services and buildings can be operated safely for staff and customers, 2) that the service is affordable and 3) that there is a community need that cannot be delivered differently.

Although the Government will tell us when we are permitted to open the decision when we actually open will be made locally based on these criteria. The process of restarting Live Borders will be a gradual, staggered and carefully managed process.

The route-map was updated last week advising that nationally it would be permissible for museums galleries and libraries to open on the 15th of July. We anticipate that, should the virus continue to be supressed the First Minister will announce that further facilities, including some of the sporting estate, can open during July. It is also possible that the rules around physical distancing will change from 2m to 1m.

Bearing in mind that all restarting activity is subject to government guidelines as well as meeting the test criteria set out above, I wish to share a conditional outline of our intentions for the month of July.

  1. We anticipate that the Jim Clark Motorsport Museum will open to the public on Saturday 18 July
  2. We will launch a click and collect library service week commencing 20 July
  3. Tweedbank Athletics track will open for club use only from Thursday 23 July
  4. We will permit clubs registered with their sport’s National Governing bodies to book training slots on our artificial pitches from Monday 20 July
  5. Subject to Government approving a transition from phase two of the route-map to phase three during July, we are preparing :
    – The opening of the two six lane pools for Lane swimming, aquarobics, club swimming and elite squads
    – The opening of fitness facilities at Teviotdale Leisure Centre and Trifitness

If the service or facility you are looking for is not listed above, it is unlikely (but not impossible!) that the service will be available from Live Borders during July. Those services that do commence or open will in all likelihood require customers to adapt. For example, it is not envisaged that changing facilities or shower facilities will be available, and customers will have to register with Live Borders and pre-book slots. Further information and booking information will become available over the course of the next few weeks and will be published on our website and social media channels.

We will obviously continue to develop our plans with a view to providing as broad and full a service as we can as quickly as we are permitted to or are able to.

In the meantime, I ask for your patience and forbearance. Coronavirus has been hugely damaging for our business and it will take time to recover.  With your support we will, I hope, very soon be able to meet all of your requirements to make you more active, more creative and ultimately healthier.

I will provide more detailed updates as we continue to move forward.

Best wishes

Ewan Jackson

Chief Executive

Live Borders