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New women’s-only gym opens in Dormers Wells Leisure Centre following closure earlier this year of Southall Sports Centre

Following the recent closure of Southall Sports Centre and it’s women’s only gym facilities at the end of March 2022, Ealing Council has announced that a new facility for woman in Southall to use has now opened up at Dormers Wells Leisure Centre which according to provider Everyone Active offers a 34 station woman-only gym.

According to Ealing Council, the official opening of the new women-only gym took place earlier this month (15 August 2022) and saw leader of Labour-run Ealing Council Councillor Peter Mason, Councillor Jasbir Anand, cabinet member for thriving communities and Deirdre Costigan, deputy leader open the new centre after much local concern was raised that there was lack of woman-only gym facilities.

In 2020, Southall Sports Centre property site owner West London College said it notified Ealing Council that it was intending to re-use the building the gym was housed in for expanding its learning and training facilities by turning it into a construction academy and gave the council notice.

A spokesperson for West London College said in March 2022: “Southall Sports Centre is housed in part of Southall Community College, under a lease agreement with Ealing Council and operated by Everyone Active. West London College informed Ealing Council it would terminate this lease in 2020, giving time and support in finding alternative locations, including the women-only gym.”

Ealing Council in April 2022 said: “In October 2021 West London College issued notice to Ealing Council to vacate the building by 1 April 2022 to facilitate the college’s plans to convert the sports centre building into a construction academy. This followed receipt of a letter sent by the college to the council in May 2021 which included the first formal reference to any plans to change the use of the sports centre.”

When Southall Sports Centre closed, a local protest took place.

Zainab Hasan who organised the protest outside the gym on 30 March said: “We are not going to be silent. We are going to make our voices heard. We are going to let it be known to officials that they need to come up with a solution for us.”

At the time, local MP, Virendra Sharma who represents Ealing, Southall said: “Southall needs public services, and the loss of Southall Sports Centre is bad for our local area. I have long raised the need for more provision of sports facilities locally. I wrote to Cllr Peter Mason the leader of Ealing Council earlier this month urging more capacity to replace that lost from Southall Sports Centre, Gurnell Leisure Centre and Southall Young Adults Centre.”

Mr Sharma added: “My children and grandchildren have grown up in Southall, I know what people locally need, and want to see it. Southall Sports Centre offered important women only safe spaces and we need that locally. While I welcome exercise equipment in parks, it does not replace what we have lost.”

Dormers Wells Woman-Only Gym

Councillor Anand said of the introduction of a women-only gym at Dormers Wells Leisure Centre to replace Southall Sports Centre: “A new women’s gym at Dormers Wells is a welcome addition to an extensive range of new fitness facilities we are bringing to Southall. We know that it is vital that women in this area have a safe and welcoming place to exercise which is why we have worked hard as soon as we were made aware of the closure of Southall Sports Centre to ensure that there was an equivalent place for local women from a wide range of backgrounds to use.”

Councillor Mason added: “We are fully committed to investing in sports and leisure facilities across the entire borough to ensure residents of all ages have the opportunity to stay healthy and active – these new gym facilities are just one part of this great project”.

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