Residents, councillors and MP's have expressed their disappointment after Tetbury's only leisure centre suddenly closed earlier this week.

Gym-goers at Sir William Romney's Leisure Centre were stunned to hear of its closure when they arrived for their morning work on Monday.

Tetbury resident Danny Ruddick said: "I arrived at 8am to attend my usual hour or so in the gym and it was closed.

"I was informed by a member of staff that it has been closed to members and the public in general.

"There have been no prior warnings issued concerning the impending closure and the member of staff concerned was also only informed this morning.

"So we now have one of the largest towns in the Cotswolds with no funded provision to aid the health and well being of its residents.

Owners Sir William Romney’s Leisure Limited have put the closure down to ‘the cessation of grant funding.’

In a statement on their website titled 'closing statement' they said: "After nearly six years of providing leisure facilities for our local community, the Directors of Sir William Romney’s Leisure Ltd regretfully announce that the leisure centre will cease to trade from Monday, July 8.

"Following the cessation of grant funding, we have had to take the regretful decision to close all of our facilities, classes and holiday provision.

"We will be contacting all our members and creditors without delay.

"Despite the decision to close SWR Leisure, Sir William Romney’s School is exploring opportunities to ensure that our sports centre facilities remain available for our local community, particularly in the form of lettings of the sports hall for local sports groups.

"We would like to thank all of our members and regular users for their support and understanding through this difficult time.

"If you have any queries please contact Mr Jim Goudie, Butcher Woods Ltd, 79 Caroline Street, Birmingham B3 1UP, telephone 0121 236 6001."

The full reaction

Sir Geoffrey Clifton Brown MP said: “The announcement of the closure of these leisure centres is absolutely unacceptable.

"Especially, at a time when sport and leisure are becoming ever more important amongst all ages in our society.

"It’s a real tragedy our market towns continue to grow in size but continue to lose local facilities and infrastructure.”

“I am in touch with local constituents who are relying on these leisure centres to supply child supervision during the six-week summer holiday.

"The decision to close these leisure centres is having a real impact on the day to day lives of residents and we must do all we can to keep them open.

“I have written today to Joe Harris, the new Liberal Democrat Leader of the Cotswold District Council, asking him to provide a funding package for the two leisure centres to remain open for a year.

"This is so that proper and wide-ranging discussion about their future can take place amongst the people of both towns, rather than residents being confronted with a sudden decision to close them which will have come as a great shock to many.”

Cotswold District Council leader Cllr Joe Harris added: “I’m disappointed to hear that the Leisure Centre at Sir William Romney School in Tetbury has closed today and also that the facilities at Farmors school in Fairford are set to close soon.

“My administration are committed to ensuring that all communities have access to a decent health and fitness offer and as part of our comprehensive plan for the Cotswolds we will work with both communities to help realise this even with the gyms closing.

"We need to be proactive in finding a solution."

Conservatives leader on Cotswold District Council Cllr Richard Morgan said: “People have booked children’s birthday parties and after school clubs and they have no idea what’s happening.

"To suddenly shut down and not give people the opportunity to make other plans is dreadful”.

Cotswold District Council Cllr for Tetbury Stephen Hirst said: “This is real heartbreak for local residents.

"Sir William Romney school has decided they need to concentrate on educating children instead of running a leisure centre and we have to understand their position.

"We need to recognise that without ongoing grant support these businesses cannot support themselves.

"I am personally working particularly hard to try and move all the summer activities to St Marys school in Tetbury so working parents are unaffected during the summer holidays.

"I am also working with the school to try and get the sports hall open for local sports groups from September onwards.

"These are not ideal solutions but we have to do something quickly to minimise the damage.”

A spokesman for Tetbury Town Council said: “Tetbury Town Council has not met formally to discuss the closure of the leisure centre and the impact of SWR Leisure going into administration, but our members are well aware of local families’ concern that they may have lost childcare through the long summer holidays if the Summer Holiday Club is not to take place.

"The town council does not have any role in the funding or running of the leisure centre, nor SWR Leisure as a business.

"However, we are aware of efforts to make alternative arrangements and of course the town council would like those efforts to succeed.

"An extraordinary meeting of the council has been convened for the earliest possible date after hearing the news.

"If required, the town council will consider proposals for how it might help.

"The extraordinary meeting will be held at 6.30pm on Monday, July 15, but may be cancelled at the last moment if our friends and partners are successful with their arrangements.”