Leisure centre jobs at risk as Somerset sites remain closed

Wells Leisure Centre Image copyright Google
Image caption At least 72 posts are at risk at leisure centres in Somerset

More than 72 jobs at leisure centres across Somerset are at risk of redundancy as some sites are to remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Fusion Lifestyle, which runs facilities for some local authorities, said it had been "greatly affected" by Covid-19.

Facilities in Frome and Street are set to reopen but Shepton Lido, Wells Leisure Centre and Tor Leisure in Glastonbury will remain closed for now.

It said it needed to make changes in order to keep the business sustainable.

According to Fusion's website, it operates 84 leisure sites including gyms, swimming pools and sports grounds across England, with the majority of sites in the south east. It also has a site in Wales.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Frome Sport and Fitness is set to reopen on 10 August, followed by Strode Leisure Centre in Street ten days later

In a letter sent to staff at five sites run by Fusion for Mendip District Council in Somerset, which has been seen by the BBC, the firm outlined redundancy proposals and said more than 72 posts were at risk.

It said jobs such as fitness instructors, catering staff and customer relations roles could go.

Mendip District Council said it had deferred six month's rent on three of the centres, and three month's rent on the other two.

A spokesman for Fusion Lifestyle said: "When we are able to re-open, our business needs to adapt in line with government restrictions and industry feedback anticipates a big reduction in footfall.

"In order to keep the business sustainable, we need to make changes to staffing levels and ways of working.

"We are currently in consultation with our staff to take on board their views and ideas and come up with the best solution."

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