Con-Fusion as customers met with silence over cancelled classes

Bunyan Centre
The Bunyan Centre is one of the sites managed by Fusion on behalf of Bedford Borough Council Image: Google, Streetview (May 2017)

Customers with classes booked and gym memberships at council leisure centres run by Fusion Lifestyle, say they’ve been left to “work it out for themselves” after local centres didn’t open along with others up and down the country.

The Government gave permission for leisure centres and gyms to open on 25 July after being closed to slow down the infection rate of coronavirus.

But locally, Bedford’s health chiefs kept the doors of local leisure centres closed until further notice.

Read: Council confirms Bedford leisure centres won’t reopen on 25 July

The Borough Council say this is due to the “higher coronavirus infection rate seen locally.”

But customers say they’ve not had any word on their membership payments or pre-paid classes they’ve booked.

Despite calls from the Prime Minister for the public to get fitter, and a £10 million government campaign to tackle obesity, Fusion customers say they’ve been “left in limbo”.

While many private leisure centres did open last Saturday, according to The Guardian, a third of public leisure facilities across the England remained closed.

UK Active and Community Leisure UK, the industry trade bodies, also estimate 1,300 local authority leisure centres and 20% of the UK’s swimming pools could go under by Christmas if the government doesn’t help.

“In partnership with Fusion Lifestyle, we are working to open our local indoor leisure facilities as soon as it is safe and viable, and we thank everyone for their patience at this time,” said a council spokesperson.

Fusion Lifestyle are reportedly struggling with the impact of coronavirus, after confirming they were looking to make a number of redundancies.

Read: Fusion Lifestyle confirm redundancies across all leisure sites in Bedford

The troubled leisure operator, Fusion, currently manage Robinson Pool and Leisure Centre, Kempston Pool, Oasis Leisure Pool, Bedford International Athletic Stadium and the John Bunyan Sports and Fitness Centre.

They also look after Mowsbury Park Golf Complex and Kempston Outdoor Centre.

Bedford Borough Council have encouraged gym members and leisure centre customers to “look for future updates from Fusion Lifestyle”.

But several people we spoke to who have booked classes said they’ve not heard anything and feel like they’re being “left in limbo and need to work it out for themselves”.

We asked Fusion if they had contacted members and customers to let them know if they were refunding or transferring bookings and membership fees. They did not respond.

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