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Customer Update - 31/07/20

We have received a number of queries from customers following the announcement by the Secretary of State for Health and GM Mayor Andy Burnam relating to the additional temporary restrictions imposed across Greater Manchester.

We can confirm that Rochdale Leisure Centre, Heywood Sports Village, Middleton Arena and Littleborough Sports Centre remain open for members. The measures introduced since re-opening on 25th July, including the requirement to pre-book your session, enhanced cleaning and infection control and reduced capacities remain in place,  ensuring our centres are amongst the safest facilities for you to exercise.

We will continue to monitor the situation and work closely with our partners at Rochdale Borough Council and Public Health. Should any services be affected we will post updates to social media pages and notify customers accordingly.


Following the Government announcement about the further easing of lockdown, we’re delighted that your leisure centres and swimming pools have re-opened.
The gyms, swimming pools and group exercise classes have opened at Heywood Sports Village, Littleborough Sports Centre, Middleton Arena and Rochdale Leisure Centre.   Due to social distancing measures and reduced capacities in centres, we have initially re-opened for members only.  There will be a phased re-opening of all other venues and activities as we follow Government guidance and re-open when it is safe to do so.

As a charity working in the heart of the borough, we know that our centres and activities are important to you and that staying active and being connected with others is more important that ever at this time as we look after our physical and mental wellbeing.  You’re the reason why we do what we do and we look forward to welcoming you back as soon as possible!

As always, the health and safety of you and our staff has always been our highest priority and we have developed all of our new procedures, safety measures, risk assessments and training with leading industry bodies like UKActive and Swim England and guidance from Public Health Rochdale so you can be sure that you are in the best hands to protect you and our team at all times.

Things may look a little bit different when you come back to your centre but it’ll mean that that you can continue to enjoy your activities whilst keeping safe.  We've put together some useful information in the FAQ's below to answer any questions that you have.  These will be updated as and when we have get more information so please continue to check regularly.


Pre-booking your session when we reopen

Due to social distancing measures in place, there is a limit on the amount of people that we have in the centre and taking part in each activities.  We want as many people as possible to be able to exercise daily, but it does mean that members must pre-book their activities to reserve a space in one of the specific time slots allowing us to be able to manage the number of people in the centre and avoid any unnecessary delays or queues when you visit.  This includes ALL gym, swimming and group exercise classes.

Bookings can be made at www.link4lifeolb.org

If you were registered for online bookings and booked your group exercise classes online before lockdown, there is no need to re-register.  Any members not already registered will need to do so in order to book your sessions online when we reopen.

If you need to register for online bookings, it will only take a few minutes.  Click on the red 'How to register for online bookings' button on the right (if you are reading this on a mobile device, the button may appear at the very bottom of your page underneath the list of FAQ's). 

We're really sorry but if you come to the centre and haven’t pre-booked, but you will be unable to gain access and will be asked to book a session before attending at a different time or day.

Link4Life At Home
We know that some people are not be ready to return to the centres straight away.  Don't worry, we're still here to help you!
We know that regular exercise and being creative is essential for keeping you as healthy as possible and boosting your mood and that's why we've created Link4Life At Home, giving you a range of Les Mills workouts, on-demand classes and ideas for mindfulness, wellbeing and nutrition.  And, we’ll be adding lots more to help you stay active, creative and healthy! 

Click here to access Link4Life At Home


We'll keep this web page up to date and also include information on our social media pages so please continue to check regularly.

Yes, we’re confident in our ability to minimise the risk of infection and keep our members and staff safe.

We will be implementing enhanced cleaning procedures to ensure the highest standards of cleanliness and disinfection and will have stringent social distancing measures to create a safe environment for you.

We are also asking members and staff not to visit the centre if they feel unwell or have Covid-19 symptoms and there will be clear signage to reflect this.

Staff and members will both have a responsibility for creating a clean and safe environment for everyone.  We’ve implemented:

  • Training: Our staff have undertaken cleaning training including Covid-19 awareness and Infection Control. 
  • Sanitisation stations: Hand sanitisation will be compulsory when entering the centre and stations will be located throughout for access to sanitisation and equipment cleaning supplies
  • Protection: We have installed plastic protective shields at reception desks and will be providing PPE for our staff in line with Public Health England (PHE) recommendations
  • Enhanced cleaning process: Our team will be carrying out regular cleaning and disinfection regimes throughout the day and we’re asking members to support this by cleaning each piece of equipment before and after their workout.
  • Increased cleaning hours: The centre and equipment will be sanitised regularly throughout the day and will be deep cleaned every night when the centre closes.  Deep cleaning will also take place between every session ready for customers attending the next session slots.


  • Social distancing signage: This includes floor markers showing where to stand and where relevant, directional signs indicating one way systems.
  • Pre-booked sessions: All activities must be pre-booked.
  • Modified capacities for all activities: To avoid overcrowding, we will be limiting how many people will be able to use the gym, swimming pool and group exercise classes at any one time.
  • Equipment: Gym equipment will be spaced for social distancing.
    There will be no swimming equipment available for use. If you wish to use a noodle or float then you must bring your own.
  • Swim session booking: The pool will be spaced for social distancing with Adult Lane Swimming sessions available only. All swim sessions will need to be pre-booked.
  • Workout classesStudio capacity will be reduced for group exercise classes to adhere to social distancing. When you’re waiting for your class, please follow social distancing rules and clear the studio space as quickly as you can when the class has finished.
  • Shorter classes: Classes will be between 30 and 45 minutes, to allow time for cleaning and to allow members to leave the studio safely.
  • Fewer lockers: Lockers will be available but the number will be reduced to ensure that there is an appropriate distance between them. We ask customers to limit the number of personal belongings that they bring to the centre to help to reduce the number of people in the changing rooms, and where possible please arrive dressed ready for your session.
  • Fewer showers and cubicles: Where possible, we ask that people shower at home after their activity.

Yes, it will be compulsory for members and staff to use hand sanitiser at the entrance of the centre.  There will also be numerous sanitisation stations located throughout the centre.  Disinfectant wipes will be available for you to clean your equipment and mats before and after use.


Our staff will be risk assessed for the need for protection e.g. face coverings/visors.

In line with Public Health England and UKActive guidance, our team will be provided with adequate PPE to ensure both their own safety and yours.  Public Health England guidance states that PPE should be used where physical distancing can’t be maintained, or the possibility for exposure is high so members of staff will be wearing PPE where the social distancing rule can't be adhered to, when providing care or undertaking close proximity work. 

Gloves can be contaminated with germs which are difficult to remove, so regular handwashing and using antibacterial hand sanitiser is deemed to be more hygienic.

We are asking members and staff not to visit the centre if they feel unwell or have Covid-19 symptoms.

Please follow the instructions from staff at all times.  Staff are working hard to to make sure that you all feel safe when you are able to return.

The only change to opening hours is that the centres will close up to 1 hour earlier than before lockdown, to enable staff to carry out a full deep clean of the centre ready for the next day.


Gym and swimming sessions will be set in 90 minutes time slots, group exercise classes will be 30 or 45 minutes. 
We ask that you be considerate of other members and only book one slot per day to allow as many people as possible to benefit from exercise whilst capacity is limited.  

We will be reviewing this on a regular basis and will update you if we are able to relax this.

In between sessions, staff will carry out full sanitisation of areas before the next session starts.

On reopening, all gym, swimming and group exercises classes must be pre-booked.

Bookings will be made through www.link4lifeolb.org

If you were registered for online bookings before the centres closed due to lockdown, you do not need to re-register.   If you were not registered previously, it only takes a few minutes.

For instructions, please click on the red how to register for online bookings button on the right of the page.

Bookings open from Tuesday 21 July.

Due to social distancing, we will need to limit numbers within classes, however, we have moved them to larger spaces so that as many people as possible can exercise safely.
To adhere to social distancing rules, there will be changes to the class timetable as certain classes are unable to run.  Classes will also be shortened to 30 or 45 minutes to allow more time for the studio to be cleaned between classes.

 Please check the timetable for details and book online before attending.  Bookings open from Tuesday 21 July.

Heywood Sports Village - http://ow.ly/54Tx50AD4UG
Middleton Arena - http://ow.ly/i0Ly50ACUMt
Rochdale Leisure Centre - http://ow.ly/b9fb50ACUUe
Littleborough Sports Centre - http://ow.ly/1m2V50ACUZ7

Please arrive no more than 5 minutes before your class start time.  Please do not wait in groups before the class and adhere to social distancing throughout.

The changing rooms will be open but to adhere to social distancing, showers and lockers will be limited.  We encourage you to shower and get changed at home if possible. 

Please note that the changing rooms at Littleborough Sports Centre will be closed

Please limit your personal belongings and only use a locker if absolutely necessary. 

Unfortunately, hair dryers will be unavailable.

Following the Government announcement on 9 July, your leisure centres and swimming pools are able to re-open from Saturday 25 July. 

Your monthly direct debit will start on 1 August.  We have contacted all members directly with full information.

Unfortunately, junior memberships and ladies only will continue to be frozen until they are able to use the centre.

Centres will re-open on Saturday 25 July and membership payments will re-start on 1 August.

We have contacted all members with full information.  Don't worry, if you are not wanting to return to the centre as soon as it reopens, If you wish to continue to freeze your membership, click on the button at the top right hand side of this webpage and complete your request. 

Don't worry, if you are not wanting to return to the centre as soon as it reopens, If you wish to continue to freeze your membership, click on the button at the top right hand side of this webpage and complete your request.

Yes. If you have paid up front, in full, for an annual health and fitness membership, it will automatically be extended when we reopen so that the duration of the closure period is added and you do not lose any time.

Due to social distancing measures and reduced capacities, initially when we re-open, it will be for members i.e. those that pay by monthly direct debit or have an annual membership.

If you have a YourLink4Life card, unfortunately you will not be able to book and visit straight away.  We are sorry about this and will look to re-introduce sessions to others when we are able to do so.  

As children will be unable to access the centre, junior memberships will continue to be frozen so membership payments won’t restart when we reopen. 

This will be reviewed and we will contact you when junior memberships can restart.

Please send details of your enquiry to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please remember to include your name and the centre that you are a member at.

If you are not shielding at home, you are more than welcome to visit the centre if you are a member. 

Please remember that all activities must be pre-booked before attending.   To book, please visit www.link4lifeolb.org

Don't worry, if you are not wanting to return to the centre as soon as it reopens, If you wish to continue to freeze your membership, visit link4life.org and complete your request.

Yes, your Link4Life membership enables use at Heywood Sports Village, Littleborough Sports Centre, Middleton Arena and Rochdale Leisure Centre so you can book a session at any of these centres. 

Remember that all sessions must be pre-booked before attending.  To book, visit www.link4lifeolb.org

You can still access the At Home online resources giving a range of activities to help you stay active, creative and healthy while you’re not at the centre.  Visit www.link4life.org/at-home

We'll also have downloadable workouts for home and in the gym through our new health and fitness app.  We're just doing the finishing touches and will update with details very soon.


When we reopen, we’ll be looking after our members to ensure that they are able to return to the centre.  Unfortunately, day passes won’t be accepted until further notice.

Please be mindful of social distancing and limit person-to-person contact. 

You may need to adapt your training, for example, you won’t be able to spot each other or share weights.

You shouldn’t share any equipment without cleaning first.

If you, or anyone in your household, feels unwell or have Covid-19 symptoms, please stay at home and don’t visit the centre.

Anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can get a free test to check if they have the virus.  Please click here for details of how to get a test.

Please inform a member of staff.

We ask all members and staff to adhere to guidelines and will be operating a zero tolerance policy.


We will continue to follow guidance from the Government, Public Health England, UK Active and Swim England to make sure we keep you safe.  We will ease restrictions when we have been advised that it is safe to do so. 

We will keep you updated regularly.


We have agreed in collaboration with GM Active and its 12 leisure and sports operators across Greater Manchester, that we will temporarily restrict our reciprocal memberships across the region until Autumn. This will ensure that when we do reopen we can prioritise our members at their local facility. Just like us, GM Active is passionate about getting the people of Greater Manchester to move more, and we can’t wait to relaunch shared memberships later in the year, which will give you access to 87 leisure facilities across the region again.



Initially, Heywood Sports Village, Littleborough Sports Centre, Middleton Arena and Rochdale Leisure Centre will open for gym, swimming and group exercise classes.  These centres will open on Saturday 25 July.

Touchstones Rochdale will also reopen and we will confirm details as soon as possible.

We will be working to reopen other centres and restart other activities as soon as it is safe to do so.


The swimming pools will be open for adults only lane swimming.  Please adhere to social distancing that is in place.

Capacity in the swimming pool will be modified and please remember that people of different standards and abilities will be using the pool at the same time, so please respect everyone’s right to enjoy their swim. 

When entering the pool, please select the correct lane for your ability – slow, medium or fast – and choose an appropriate stroke, so for example, please do not swim butterfly if the lane is busy.

Please follow the directional arrows and do not make physical contact with other swimmers.

Before pushing off at each turn, check to see if anyone faster is approaching and let them pass if you can.   Please be prepared to move lanes if the lifeguard asks you to.


You’ll need to pre-book a swim session before visiting the centre.  You won’t be able to turn up and swim without a booking.



All saunas and steam rooms will remain closed. 

We’ll open these facilities as soon as we’re able to do so.


There will not be Ladies Only Sessions in phase one of reopening 

The Ladies Only gym will be used for additional space to allow social distancing of all the gym equipment  

Swimming lessons will not restart straight away but we’ll let you know as soon as these can recommence.

The swimming pools will be open for adults only lane swimming.  Unfortunately there won’t be other swim sessions available straight away. 

We’ll be reviewing this on a regular basis and will let you know when these can restart.


Sports halls, artificial turf and grass pitches and squash courts will remain closed until the government advises it is safe to reopen.  This includes solo usage.

Unfortunately Beth Tweddle Gymnastics will not restart straight away when the centre reopens. 

We are working closely with Beth Tweddle Gymnastics to prepare all of our lessons for when they resume and following the National Governing Body’s guidance to ensure that this will be done with the health and safety of all the Gymnasts and Coaches as a top priority.

For more information and FAQs regarding Beth Tweddle Gymnastics - Click Here

No, please don’t being your own towel to the gym.  This is purely to protect you. 

Please use the tissue provided and dispose of it in the bin after use.

Guidance states that it is not compulsory to wear masks when exercising.  The masks will get damp which reduces their effectiveness and may also limit the users oxygenation when working at intensity.

 If however, a member wishes to wear a mask at any point during their visit, then it is absolutely fine to do so.

No. Touchstones Rochdale is not open to the public at this time.  We are working behind the scenes to get everything ready and will post updates as soon as we can confirm the date of re-opening.   




Yes. We are working on our plans for re-opening the museum and art gallery now. We will need all of our visitors to adhere to social distancing. This means that we will be introducing a one way system through the building and controlling the numbers of people we allow in.

We may also introduce a booking system to help you plan your visit and ask any potential visitors that feel unwell not to attend the Museum and Gallery. Other measures will include enhanced cleaning and disinfecting processes and restrictions on things like interactive exhibits to help keep you safe.



Yes. It was always our plan to keep the exhibition in place through the summer so we aim to make the Dippy on Tour exhibition available as soon as we are able to open, although it will be adapted to allow for social distancing and to keep you safe.  

We may need to ask you to pre-book your visit so that we can manage numbers.


No, not immediately. Our initial focus will be to re-open the Dippy on Tour exhibition. Other services are not likely to resume until later in the year.

No, not immediately. Our initial focus will be to re-open the Dippy on Tour exhibition. Other services are not likely to resume until later in the year.


No, not immediately. Our initial focus will be to re-open the Dippy on Tour exhibition. Other services are not likely to resume until later in the year.

Yes. You will be able to access the toilets but social distancing will mean that we will have reduced capacity.

You can follow our social media pages for more updates - Touchstones Facebook

Freeze your membership

If you pay by monthly direct debit, simply click on the button above.

  1. Please enter your reference number - which can be found on your bank statement (example shown below) 

2. Please enter your postcode
3. Click Login
4. Freeze your membership

If you have paid up front, in full for an annual membership. please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and one of our team will place your membership on hold.

Members will be able to freeze for up to 3 months, but we will review this as restrictions are lifted and Government guidance changes.

Register for Online Bookings

Welcome back: useful information for your visit (external link - You Tube)

Welcome back: useful information for your visit