Gym club hit with massive rent hike

standard web pics to use on the Milton Keynes Citizen website
standard web pics to use on the Milton Keynes Citizen website

A POPULAR gymnastics club could be forced to close as its rent has risen by £11,000 for the coming year.

Arabian School of Gymnastics, which coaches between 750 and 800 children, currently train in Bletchley Leisure Centre.

However, they received an email on Friday, January 25, from Milton Keynes Council’s management team, Hertsmere Leisure, stating that they would need to pay an extra £9,000 between January and December this year. The club had already been told the rent would be increasing by £2,000,

The new increase means that the rent has increased from £22,000 to £33,000 over the past year. Now they are unsure whether, if they do survive in the leisure centre this year, they will be able to afford any further increase in 2012.

Director and head coach of Arabian Gymnastics, Alan Armitage, said: “We are all in a state of shock at this present moment and we have asked the council to step in and investigate to how this kind of obscene rise can be justified. We are all hoping this has just been a most terrible error by Hertsmere Leisure.

“If its not an error then it will look like Arabian may be forced to leave the centre and find its own premises, which would be a terrible, most terrible result for not just this charity but for the community.

“We just do not have this money, we can’t afford to pay it, its as simple as that.”

The club relies on funding and donations to survive.

A council spokesman said: “We are in discussions with the club over a new contract and new fees, but nothing has been decided. These discussions are confidential and it would be inappropriate to discuss any detail and breach this confidence.”