VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Fenland District Council to scrap �250,000 mobile gym

BOUGHT little over a year ago with Government and Sports Council funding of �250,000, a mobile gym run by Fenland District Council is to be scrapped.

The gym is little used and will be sold off next year – if the council can find a buyer.

“Although the service has been widely promoted it is not operating at capacity,” said Phil Hughes, head of leisure services.

Where once it visited the Oasis Centre in Wisbech and Chatteris, Doddington, Wimblington and Manea it now only does twice weekly visits to Chatteris and once weekly trips into Manea and Wimblington.

Mr Hughes said a reduction in grant funding has resulted in a “significantly increased revenue cost to the council”.

Expected funding to run the gym for three years has been withdrawn, leaving the council to pick up the estimated �30,000-a-year running costs.

But with a new Chatteris leisure suite due to open next October offering a state-of-the-art gym and exercise studio, Mr Hughes believes Fenland can do without its mobile gym.

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His recommendation to Cabinet next week is for the council to discontinue the mobile gym at the same time as the Chatteris centre opens.

In the past year there have been 1,744 visits to the mobile gym but this has produced an income of just �7,750 - nowhere near enough to break even.

Mr Hughes also revealed that an idea of council leader Alan Melton to rent it out to commercial firms had met with little response.

“Although there has been some interest, there appears to be little opportunity to gain significant hire income in the current economic climate,” said Mr Hughes.

Should Fenland sell the gym after the end of March next year it won’t have to repay any grant money used to buy it.