Gym members' anger at plans to close Virgin Active club in Sheffield and create trampoline park
Sheffield fitness fans have reacted angrily to the news their local gym will close and be replaced by a trampoline park.
Virgin Active Health Club on Archer Road, Millhouses, will shut on June 30 after being sold to Oxygen Freejumping, which will turn it into an indoor trampoline park.
The firm said it had made the ‘difficult’ decision as part of a continual review of its portfolio ‘to support the long-term growth of the business’.
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Members at the Millhouses gym will be able to transfer their membership to the Broadfield Park club, just over a mile away. But Star readers, posting on our Facebook page, were not happy.
Lucy Clague said: “As a regular Virgin Broadfield gym member for over four years I’m a bit concerned about how busy it’s going to be there once they transfer everyone over from Millhouses, especially as my fees have recently increased.
“Paying more money and it’ll potentially be more difficult to get on gym equipment, into classes etcetera. Not happy.”
Robert Martin said: “Corporate greed I’m afraid. This place has always been more than just a gym.
“After causing misery to many local people this will eventually come around and bite Virgin’s backside.
“It’s a shame we were not given the opportunity to take it over ourselves. I wonder why?”
Jack Kirk said: “Absolutely disgusting the treatment from Virgin to its remaining members. I won’t be moving to Broadfield.”
Miroslav Baros said: “I am so disappointed; I am cancelling my subscription and moving somewhere else.”
And Kirsty Calton said: “Seriously naffed me off. I loved that gym, the other Virgin gym is cold, bright, clinical and totally unfriendly, I’m not a happy customer.”
But Mark Armstrong was among those looking forward to the trampoline park
He said: “Can’t wait, hope it’s like the Land of Bounce. And it’s just round the corner from me.”
A Virgin Active spokesman said: “We continually review our club portfolio to support the long-term growth of the business. As a result, we have made the difficult decision to close our club at Sheffield Millhouses on June 30, 2016.
“All members will be able to transfer their membership to our nearby Sheffield Broadfield Park club, located 10 minutes from Millhouses by car. Sheffield Broadfield Park is one of our recently-refurbished clubs offering a wide range of facilities for members to enjoy, including a pool, over 90 group exercise classes per week and great children’s facilities. Alternatively members can cancel their membership free of charge.
“We have an excellent track record of re-deploying staff from club closures and we are currently working with our club team to identify opportunities to stay with the business.
“We are taking a number of steps at our Sheffield Broadfield Park club to ensure the club is able to accommodate additional members. This includes expanding parking on-site and increasing the number of group exercise classes, particularly those that were popular at the Sheffield Millhouses club. From the 1st July, we are also extending our hours at Broadfield Park so that the club will be open from 6am.”
The spokesman said Virgin Active did not disclose membership numbers, but always ensured clubs could manage any potential increase in numbers if a nearby club closed.