PEOPLE from Burnham and Highbridge hoping to get fit this autumn have suffered a blow – after it was revealed the area’s main leisure centre will be shut until next year.
The King Alfred Sports Centre in Highbridge, operated by 1610, has been closed since August 5, after a water main burst, causing part of the roof to cave in and the building to flood.
All of the facilities, including the gym, sports hall, squash courts, tennis courts and dance studio are out of action.
This week, 1610 announced the centre is not expected to reopen until January.
It says the roof of the building, the gym, dance studio, bar and reception area will all need to be fully refurbished and the building will also have to dry out, which could take four months.
Members are being given the option of using other 1610 centres, including the one in Bridgwater, or suspending or cancelling their membership.
Naomi-Suzanne Hinks, from Berrow, told the Weekly News she had bought her son a membership for the summer break.
She said: “I was disappointed that my son was unable to use his month’s membership as the reason I started it in August was so he could go in the holidays.
“However, I understand it couldn’t be avoided and I am happy that the gym has agreed to suspend his membership until they reopen in January at no additional cost to me.”
King Alfred Sports Centre manager Toni McKinlay said: “1610 appreciates the patience of customers at this time and we are doing everything we can to minimise the inconvenience to them while the repairs are carried out.
“Group exercise classes will continue to take place on site at the King Alfred School and we are also looking at alternative venues for the sports hall and squash courts.”
David Hall, deputy leader of Somerset County Council, said: “We are working closely with 1610 and our contractors to ensure the leisure centre is reopened as early as possible in the New Year.
"We'd like to thank everyone for their patience whilst the necessary works are carried out and apologise for any inconvenience caused."
Regular updates will be available on 1610's website at www.1610.org.uk and on the Facebook page at www.facebook.com.1610active