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Major gym refurbishment as part of new council leisure deal

Published Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Wellingborough’s two council-owned gyms are being completely refitted this summer with state of the art equipment, as part of a new leisure centre deal

The £300,000 refit at Redwell and Waendel leisure centres will start next week and will see the introduction of new equipment not seen at the gyms before, plus new strength and cardiovascular kit, an improved layout, updated audio visual system and a full redecoration. It was agreed as part of contract negotiations between the council and operator Places For People Leisure (PfPL) earlier this year.


The deal was crucial in securing the future of both Waendel and Redwell leisure centres. The new contract, which was signed in March, saw the multi-million pound management fee paid by the council to PfPL significantly reduced, which enabled the centres to remain open. As part of the deal, the council agreed to invest capital funds into the two gyms.


Leader of Wellingborough Council, Cllr Paul Bell, said: “We think the refurbishment is really exciting news. It will improve the gyms for members, encourage new members and keep us up to date with latest trends and equipment.


“When we renegotiated the leisure contract earlier this year we made it clear that we couldn’t afford to keep the previous terms, which would have seen us commit to spending millions of pounds over the next 10 years. We were able to come to an agreement that saw our contribution to running costs reduced to almost nothing.


“We are not legally obliged to provide a leisure service but we are committed to doing so as it brings so many benefits to our residents. Investing an amount of capital funds into the gyms – money we can’t by law use for running day to day council services – increases those benefits.


“This new deal secured the future of our two council-owned leisure centres and the capital investment will ensure our gyms remain competitive and attractive to customers.


“We’re really looking forward to seeing the finished results next month and welcoming people to our new state of the art facilities.”


The gyms will temporarily close for the work to take place, but it will be staggered so that only one gym is closed at any one time. The gym at Redwell leisure centre will close for a week from 24 August and the gym at Waendel will close for two weeks from 1 September. Members will be able to use the other facility when their usual gym is being refurbished.


Staff at Waendel will relocate to Redwell during the refit, meaning that opening hours at Redwell will be extended throughout the Waendel works. All other services at the leisure centres will run as normal and there will be an extended group exercise programme at Waendel for all members during its closure period.


Information on the refit and gym closure and reopening dates is being given to leisure centre members this week and can also be found on the Places for People Leisure website or by phoning 01933 221 622.