LETTER: St Peter’s gym closure

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AS one of Burnley’s main facilities I’m sure a lot of Burnley Express readers are aware of the closures at the St Peter’s Centre, perhaps not?

Me neither until I turned up to use the gym tonight. I was aware that the gym was due to get a huge suite of new equipment as there has been glossy posters everywhere and a decline in already poor equipment maintenance. However, what wasn’t made so clear is that the gym would be on reduced hours for the last week of November and closed for the entirety of December. Members paying up to £33 a month will not be compensated, or receive a discount for the huge inconvenience nor are they able to cancel their membership without the standard one month notice. I fail to see how the work to such a small gym could take so long. I also think that the need for such extensive refurbishment on a relatively new building highlights the lack of basic maintenance, cleaning and general upkeep. (Anybody who uses St Peter’s can’t help but notice the disgusting lack of cleaning). I’m all in favour of public services run by public bodies, but the management of St Peter’s Centre by Burnley Council management smacks of the repeated arguments for private enterprise. I doubt a private business would shut its entire gym for a month and certainly with no compensation for customers. Anybody reading this feeling just as annoyed should do what I have done and cancel your direct debit with your bank. There are competitor gyms, with much better facilities willing to offer the same price as St Peter’s (with negotiation). Poor effort yet again Burnley Council.

CENTRE USER

• In response, Mick Cartledge, Director of Community Services at Burnley Council, said: “We are very sorry that one of our members has been inconvenienced by the closure of the St Peter’s gym.

As part of replacing over 75 fitness stations with the latest fitness equipment, it has been necessary to close the gym for three weeks. During this time members have full use of Padiham Leisure Centre gym, the pool remains open at the St Peter’s Centre, and the group fitness class schedule has been increased to accommodate our members’ needs. All our members will also have access to the Active Network of gyms across East Lancashire, including our nearest neighbours in Pendle and Hyndburn, where they can use the gym facilities as part of their membership.

Staff at the St Peter’s Centre have been busy informing customers using the St Peter’s Centre of the closures, there have also been articles in the press and messages through our social media channels.

The refurbishment is not on the building, but in upgrading the fitness equipment to respond to our customers needs, to provide gym facilities of the highest calibre. There will be some upgrade to the décor and carpets also, in the adjacent studio and corridors. The gym is one of the largest in the area, with a growing membership, and we are investing in quality equipment to cater for this.

The transformation of the fitness suite is taking place in what is historically our quietest period, and will be ready for members to use in our busiest period following Christmas.

There is the option to freeze membership from one month to six months in any year, however we hope that our customers will bear with us and use our other facilities during this short period of closure.

We look forward to welcoming new and current members to the brand new fitness facilities later this month, and there will be a number of taster sessions if anyone wants to come down and have a try.”