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Relief for employees and members as Orpington gym remains open over Christmas

PUBLISHED: 11:02 07 December 2015 | UPDATED: 13:15 07 December 2015

LA Fitness in St Pauls Cray

LA Fitness in St Pauls Cray

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LA Fitness on Sandy Lane was due to close on November 28 as part of a £1million refurbishment process

Employees and members of a gym in Orpington are breathing a sigh of relief after a planned closure has been put on hold.

The popular LA Fitness gym on Sandy Lane was due to close on November 28 as part of a £1million refurbishment process following a takeover by Pure Gym, which was set to cost staff at the current site their jobs.

However, a last minute u-turn has meant the gym has remained open over the festive period, much to the delight of its regulars.

Andy Briar, 40, who works behind the bar at the club, said: “It’s good news for everyone at the club, all I know is they were going to close it but a couple of weeks later had a change of heart.

“It’s a massive relief to still have my job when I’ve got triplets to look after and Christmas coming up.

“This isn’t your ordinary gym, it’s got a real community feel to it and a great social atmosphere.”

The fitness firm was planning on making wholesale changes to the site, including filling the swimming pool and removing the squash courts and bar area, and replacing it with gym equipment.

Member Chris Middleton, 68, added: “Everyone was upset about losing their club, so this is really great.

“I think if they’d have kept the facilities like the swimming pool running, most people would not have had a problem with it, but it makes a mockery of the Olympic legacy.

“We had a big party last week which was going to be a chance to say goodbye to everyone but turned out to be a celebration of the club staying open.”

Pure Gym acquired 43 LA Fitness outlets in May and is now completing its £20m conversion of sites across the country.

The firm declined to comment, however a source close to Pure Gym hinted that it was currently considering the option for a sale but that it may still go ahead with conversion to Pure Gym in the new year.

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