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Covid: Brentwood Centre closed with 'immediate effect'

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image captionBrentwood Leisure Centre say the local council rejected a deal to keep the service open

A council says it is "working hard" to reopen a town's leisure centre, after its "immediate closure" was announced.

The Brentwood Centre and community halls in Brentwood, Essex, closed on Tuesday after its management company Brentwood Leisure Trust ceased trading.

The trust, which has suffered financial difficulty amid the Covid pandemic, said Brentwood Borough Council rejected a deal to keep the service open.

But the council said it could not "lawfully" provide further funding.

In a statement posted on Brentwood Leisure Trust's website, its trustees said they had been in discussions with the local authority since July and that "a deal in principle was rejected by the council".

It said trustees "have been left with no option other than to wind up the business with immediate effect".

The trust had managed the facility since 2004.

In a statement on its Facebook page, the Conservative-controlled council said it was "committed" to reopening the facility, but said further financial assistance to the trust would be unlawful as it could "give them an advantage in the market".

The council said it was working to "safeguard valuable health and wellbeing services" for residents affected by the sudden closure.

In July, trade body UK Active warned that half of all public leisure facilities in the UK could close by the end of the year without more government support.

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