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Orpington gym closure sparks outrage among members

PUBLISHED: 09:57 11 November 2015 | UPDATED: 09:57 11 November 2015

Pure Gym

Pure Gym

© James McCauley

LA Fitness gym on Sandy Lane is closing on November 28 until February as part of a Pure Gym takeover

The closure of a gym in Orpington has sparked outrage among its members.

The popular LA Fitness gym on Sandy Lane is closing on November 28 until February as a £1million refurbishment process takes place following a takeover by Pure Gym, which is costing staff at the current gym their jobs.

The fitness firm is planning on making wholesale changes to the site, including filling the swimming pool and removing the squash courts and bar area, which has been met with anger from some of the gym’s members.

Chris Middleton, 68, of Maidstone Road, Sidcup, said: “It winds me up. I’ve been using the gym for over 15 years and it’s become like a social club.

“There’s a bar there where you can sit and chat for as long as you like and I’ve made so many friends there over the years, it’s fantastic.

“What does removing the sports facilities say about the Olympic legacy? Where are people who use the pool and the gym supposed to go now? It’s shocking really.”

Pure Gym completed the acquisition of LA Fitness and its 43 fitness clubs across Britain last May.

A spokesperson for Pure Gym said: “Pure Gym has begun the process of converting LA Fitness sites into Pure Gym gyms and in doing so will invest over £20m across the LA Fitness sites.

“We do not find that it is economical to maintain wet facilities like swimming pools and saunas and cafes in our gyms.

“We understand that this will be disappointing to some members but we believe that the greater good is served by offering facilities at lower cost, higher quality and with greater flexibility than before.

“The fact that newly converted sites have experienced a 70 per cent increase in membership gives us confidence that this model is working.”

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