Positive steps have been made to re-open a community leisure centre.

The Fairford community were devastated when Farmor’s School announced that the gym at the town’s only Sports Centre was to close at the end of August.

Users of the sports hall and gym banded together to form an action group to try to save the much-needed facilities.

The group, Save our Sports Centre (SOSC), led by former businessman, Jim Fallon, has had lots of email exchanges with the school as well as a meeting with headteacher, Matthew Evans, and Sue Dorey, the school business lead (strategic).

Jim said: "We believe that we can form a not-for-profit company to operate the gym and fitness classes working alongside Farmor’s School, and Matthew and Sue appeared to be very interested in what we had to say."

The action group’s proposal was put before the new Board of Governors at the beginning of the school term in September, and SOSC are now heartened to hear that the Governors have formed a sub-group to discuss and consider the proposal.

"This is a really positive step forward’ said Jim.

"However, we are concerned about the length of time that it is taking to reach a decision.

"All the time that we are in talks with the school about the future of the sports centre, past users of the facilities in Fairford are looking elsewhere for their exercise and fitness classes."

Cotswold District Councillor Stephen Andrews has raised the issue of Fairford’s Sports Centre with the new regime at Cotswold District Council and they have intimated that there may be some financial help available for health and fitness in Fairford in line with their election manifesto earlier this year.

Meanwhile, past users of the Fairford’s Sports Centre are being frustrated by the lack of exercise facilities in the town, and their frustration is shared by doctors at Fairford’s Hilary Cottage Surgery. A representative from the surgery said: "Certainly we share the concerns about losing such a facility, especially when the priority for the NHS includes an emphasis on self-care and the proven benefits of exercise/movement on physical and mental health."

One former user of the gym in Fairford said: "My doctor has prescribed regular exercise for health reasons, but I cannot go to another gym because I don’t drive and there is no suitable public transport.

"As I live on my own, going to the gym in Fairford was not only good for my physical health, but also enabled me to get out and meet people.

"I do hope Farmor’s School will listen to the Save our Sports Centre proposal.

"We really do need full exercise facilities in our growing town."