Leisure centre sauna to close: less people using it, too costly to repair says Fenland Council

Its adverts say it has a sauna. No longer the case for George Campbell Fitness Centre in March

Its adverts say it has a sauna. No longer the case for George Campbell Fitness Centre in March - Credit: Archant

Less people than ever are using the sauna at the George Campbell Leisure Centre in March and it is going to be removed.

Fenland District Council confirmed its removal after a reader pleaded for it to be retained.

“Was there any consultation with members regarding the removal of the sauna? No,” said Peter Whitcombe.

“Will there be any benefit to members by its removal such as a reduction in fees? I doubt it.”

A council spokesman said: “I can confirm the sauna at the George Campbell is being removed.

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“It is some years old and broke down two months ago. It would not have been economical to repair it due to its age, and the cost of completely replacing it is £11,000.

“Due to the low number of people who use the facility and the leisure centre procurement process, a decision was taken to not replace the facility at this time.”

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The spokesman added that the leisure centre tender document (for when it is effectively privatised) specifically asks bidders what their plans are for sauna/steam room investment at the four sites.

“The George Campbell has seen several £100,000s of investment in facilities in recent years based on what the majority of customers wanted to see improved,” the spokesman added.

Mr Whitcombe said he had been a member at the centre for 20 years and had seen a lot of changes “and some great improvements.

“I believe it was always a mistake to locate the sauna to pool side, which imposes restrictions for use during school time swimming lessons.”

He said that following the centre extension and alterations to poolside changing rooms, he felt that was ample room for the sauna to be located in the former changing area. It would give it unrestricted access “and I am sure would generate more use”.

Mr Whitcombe pleaded: “Please let’s rethink this issue and not reduce facilities, which enhance the centre’s profile.

“If it is purely about finance, would members be prepared to pay an increase of fees to cover this asset? Why not ask them.”

He said he wanted to know the cost savings removal of the sauna would bring about “and will this be passed onto members?”

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