Saffron Walden gym announces closure

Wilburs gym on High Street, Saffron Walden, will be closing its doors to customers on July 31 after

Wilburs gym on High Street, Saffron Walden, will be closing its doors to customers on July 31 after 24 years. - Credit: Archant

A gym which has served the community for 24 years is closing its doors this summer.

Wilburs on the High Street has around 400 visits a week, but on Sunday owner James Goddard announced the venture is no longer financially viable and will have to shut shop.

“It’s not a decision I’ve made lightly, but I can’t run it as a charity,” said Mr Goddard, who has owned the company since it started in December, 1991. “As a business model it’s not working at the moment. The premises need investment and unfortunately we don’t have the money to do that.

“I want to do the right thing by my members and by my members of staff. I’m very sad about it, it’s been a very hard decision. I’ve tried to keep it going for the past two years, I’ve supported it but there’s been some troubled times and it’s a great shame but it has to close.

“I’ve put 24 years of my life into it and I would like to thank all members and all staff members past and present.”

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Gym-goers were also saddened by the closure.

“I’ve been coming here for 22 years,” Saffron Walden postman David Platte told the Reporter.

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“A lot of us use it – it’s very convenient. There are plenty of people who come here,”

Wendens Ambo resident Susan McGee, who has used the gym for the past three years, added: “We are all very upset. It’s a social hub as well as somewhere we can all work out, so we’re very sad about it,” added

Manager Ben Stapleton has hopes that the four staff members will form their own gym in Saffron Walden following the closure.

“We are a good team and we’ll try and do that if we can find a space.”

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