Hatfield fitness fans slam £320k gym refit

PUBLISHED: 12:14 08 April 2017

Angry gym members outside the Hatfield Leisure Centre after a refurbishment left them with a smaller area.

Angry gym members outside the Hatfield Leisure Centre after a refurbishment left them with a smaller area.

Danny Loo Photography 2017

A six-figure refurbishment of a council-owned gym in Hatfield has made it worse, according to a deluge of complaints from unhappy members.

Since the gym at the Hatfield Leisure Centre in Travellers Lane reopened in February, several long-term members have told council contractor Finesse Leisure that they preferred it before the £320,000 refurbishment.

Lewis Busby, 32, who has been a member for seven years, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “They (Finesse Leisure management) have been bombarded with complaints. They are just not interested.”

According to Mr Busby, members had asked for a larger weights room, with new equipment such as mirrors, a lifting platform, and extra squat racks.

He said: “It is the busiest area. It was always very crowded, but it got reduced by a quarter. Everyone was disappointed.”

The weights room is dangerously crowded now, he claimed, because junior members are allowed to use it.

Fitness fans need mirrors, he explained, to check they are using exercise machines correctly and safely.

Echoing Mr Busby’s complaints, Dave O’Boy said: “There seems to be within the Finesse organisation a complete aversion to dealing with issues such as these.”

And Bodgan Frona complained: “After the refurbishment the gym should look and be better than before, not worse.”

Duwaine Sinclair, sales and marketing director for Finesse Leisure, said the refurbishment had been designed to reflect earlier feedback from members, but further changes had since been made in response to complaints.

He said: “We made changes to the equipment which was available for use and also made changes to the configuration of the floor space.

“All of this has helped to create a gym that offers a first class, diverse range of facilities for a wide section of the community.

“As a result of these changes we have welcomed comment from our customers, in order that we may fine tune the service which we offer.

“While we are always working within tight budgetary restrictions, we pride ourselves on being able to offer customers to the gym the best service possible and pledge to ensure the continued improvement of the site.”

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