Watford Borough Council has received tens of thousands of pounds which will allow leisure centres in the town to reopen with certainty.

The council has been given £181,000 from the Sport England National Leisure Recovery Fund, helping to support the recovery of publicly-owned leisure centres and gyms.

Both Watford Leisure Centre Central and Watford Leisure Centre Woodside will reopen on April 12, in line with the Government's roadmap out of lockdown.

The Government confirmed on Monday that leisure centres would be safe to reopen with strict operational measures in place.

But the roadmap means not all facilities will be able to open immediately.

For example, no indoor adult sport is allowed involving more than six people or two households, while group classes like fitness and aqua must wait until May 17.

The sauna and steam rooms will also remain closed for now, along with play areas, and the cafe will not provide indoor service.

Gary Foley, Everyone Active’s contract manager, said: "We’re very much looking forward to reopening our centres and welcoming back the local community.

"After being closed for three months, the latest step in the Government’s Roadmap is a positive move forward for the leisure industry and gives people of all ages the opportunity to resume activity and exercise in their leisure centre.

"Ensuring our colleagues and customers remain safe continues to be our number one priority and we have carefully considered the strict measurements to ensure we adhere to the guidance.

"We are also looking forward to welcoming new customers through our doors. For those who are looking to start a new fitness journey at our award-winning facilities, please get in touch and our professionals will be happy to help.

"We will be contacting existing customers directly over the coming days regarding the centres reopening. We look forward to welcoming everyone back and thank them for their patience."

Speaking about the Sport England funding, Chris Fennell, head of leisure and environmental services at the council, said: "This is fantastic news for our leisure centres. Our residents have been waiting a long time for our gyms, swimming pools and other sports facilities to reopen, and the wait is almost over.

"The grant will help ensure we can reopen promptly and with the greatest possible choice of Covid-secure activities on offer at our centres in Watford."