Richmondshire Gymnastics Club fights to secure the future of its base as energy costs spiral

A young gymnast trains inside Colburn Leisure Centre.
A young gymnast puts her skills on show at Colburn Leisure Centre. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees.

Children, coaches and parents at a gymnastics club in North Yorkshire say they are fighting for the future of the building they use - and they have nowhere else to go.

Award-winning Richmondshire Gymnastics Club has been based at Colburn Leisure Centre for more than ten years.

However Richmondshire Leisure Trust, the charity which runs the centre, said spiralling energy costs are forcing it to pull out of operations there at the end of November - putting the future of the building at risk.

The trust told ITV News Tyne Tees that annual energy bills will go up from nearly £15,000 to more than £70,000.

Rebecca Clay is head coach and said a solution needs to be found, as the club is not in a position to move.

She said: "We can't simply lift all this up and take it somewhere else. There's nowhere for it to go. We wont be able to do that, we wont be able to offer the same provision.

"There's nowhere else that we can go around here that we can just simply move into straight away. There's nowhere else for these children to go."

More than 400 people are members of the club, most of them children and teenagers. It is - and has been - a breeding ground for successful, championship athletes, as well as providing a social space for youngsters.

Thirteen-year-old Lili has written emails to the local council - and MP - highlighting their plight. She said: "I'm sad because I come here quite often and it's a great way to come and see friends. All this equipment could go to waste."

While the trust runs operations there, the building is owned by Colburn Town Council.

The council said it was informed of the situation at a meeting on Monday 17 October.

It added: "Due to time constraints this is making this very difficult. However, we are liaising with various organisations to try and ensure that the leisure centre does not close."

The trust said it gave as much notice as possible.