150 jobs lost as leisure centre and sports park close suddenly
By David Wood | 29th September 2023
Gloucester's GL1 leisure centre and Oxstalls Sports Park have closed down suddenly with more than 150 job losses.
It means the Bruton Way gym and swimming pool will be out of action, along with the tennis courts, outdoor sports pitches and all other Aspire-run facilities at Oxstalls.
Both centres could now be closed for a year as Aspire Sports and Cultural Trust has decided not to extend its contract with Gloucester City Council which ends tomorrow (Saturday, September 30).
All staff at the centres are set to be made redundant with the closure
A public statement:from Aspire Sports and Cultural Trust board of trustees said: ""As many people will be aware, as a charity we have faced some challenging conditions over the last few years and have done everything we can to meet those challenges.
"Having reached the end of our 15-year contract we hoped to continue for another year to ease the council's search for another operator. However, as a registered charity, trustees have a legal duty to only trade if council funding is assured and risk is controlled. Trustees felt unable to trade legally as a 'going concern'.
"We have now taken the incredibly difficult decision to wind up the charity and to go into liquidation as we believe we are no longer able to operate legally in the way that we would wish.
"We'd like to thank our staff who have consistently gone above and beyond, as well as our loyal customers who have supported us throughout the last 15 years.
"The leadership of Aspire Sports and Cultural Trust will now work with partners to close down the business with immediate effect."
The news has been met with dismay by staff and users alike.
Enzo Mora, chairman of the Gloucestershire Lawn Tennis Association Ltd, said on Facebook: "I am deeply saddened and truly sorry to hear about the unfortunate situation that has unfolded with the Aspire Trust going into liquidation.
"This news brings a heavy heart, not only for our association but for the entire community that has been positively impacted by the GL1 Leisure Centre and Oxstalls Tennis Centre."
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