Ipswich: Job fears as Fitness First to close for revamp

IPSWICH: Staff at an Ipswich gym are today facing an uncertain future after it was announced that the venue is to close for a re-vamp.

Workers at the Fitness First gym in Russell Street contacted the Evening Star this week with a number claiming they were set to lose their jobs over the move.

Bosses at the health chain confirmed that a “period of “consultation” over workers’ futures was starting and that the company would look to re-deploy a number of staff.

Stephen Malthouse, a spokesman for Fitness First, said: “The Ipswich branch is going to close for a period of refurbishment and re-open again in the autumn.

“We are also going to enter a period of consultation with the staff there and will look to re-deploy workers where this is possible.

“At this moment in time we can not say anything definitive regarding job losses. We will make further comment after the consultation period.”

The venue, which employs around a dozen people, is set to be transformed into a gym with “a new format” which will open its doors sometime in the autumn.

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Mr Malthouse added that he couldn’t reveal what the format would entail but that current members of the gym would still be able to use it.

He said: “We have taken the decision to change the format of a number of venues within our UK portfolio of gyms.

“The Ipswich building is being closed for a refurbishment and will be coming back with a brand new format to benefit our members.

“We can’t reveal these details in full yet. But I can say that members of the gym need not fear because it will definitely be coming back.”

<n> Are you a Fitness First worker affected by the proposals? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.