Selby District Council has now finalised the deal to set up temporary gym facilities and a fitness studio in the centre of Selby, following the recent fire at Abbey Leisure Centre.
Working in partnership with WLCT, a range of gym equipment and fitness classes will soon be available at the former Walker's Bingo Club, Portholme Crescent, Selby. The facilities at Abbey Leisure Centre were destroyed in a fire at the end of February.
The Bingo Club site had been up for sale for some months with the company having already drawn-up plans to close the facility once a buyer could be found. Selby District Council will use the building to provide a state-of-the-art 85 station gym and 78 square metre fitness studio until a replacement leisure centre is developed.
Contracts for the deal have been completed over the last few days. The costs are being met through the Council's insurers. Work has begun to re-fit the building and it is anticipated that the new facilities will open in June.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Mark Crane, said, "The leisure centre fire was hugely upsetting, especially in light of the £1m refit that had recently taken place. But straight away we started to think about possible alternative options for gym facilities and we've turned around this deal extremely quickly. That's through the hard work of all those involved from both the Council and our partners, WLCT.
"These new facilities will allow us to provide a great service between now and the re-opening of a new leisure centre in the town, which is what we're committed to delivering."
Stuart Murray, Chief Executive of WLCT, the organisation that runs leisure services on behalf of Selby District Council, added, "Although this will be a temporary gym, the facilities will be absolutely first rate. It actually gives us a greater floor space than we had in the leisure centre gym so we'll be able to offer greater choice and availability. I'd urge all existing members and those who may have left us since the fire to take a look when the new gym opens and give it a try.
"The Council has also asked us to look at whether we can provide some bingo services from the Pavillion at Selby Park. We're looking at this now and will make an announcement in the near future."
Over the coming months discussions will continue to decide the best approach to re-providing leisure services at the Abbey Leisure Centre site. The Council has already set out its commitment to provide at least equal facilities in the future. The authority and WLCT are now working with insurers to determine the next steps.
More details about the new temporary facilities will follow.