THE Uxbridge Gazette campaign to save a popular gymnastics club goes on but the chances of gymnasts getting back into their old base are looking slim.
The base, in Victoria Road, South Ruislip, was closed in April after the former owners backed out of a court case with Hillingdon Council, which was trying to recover £97,000 in business rates it claimed was owed.
The parent-led initiative now set up to run Hillingdon School of Gymnastics has gained the support or more than 200 people, and a business plan was submitted to the council on May 31.
John Cox, one of the directors of the new initiative, said: "Our business plan demonstrates that we can do the job.
"We have thought about what we
need to do and we can make it a success.
"Essentially, we want to run the same operation as before but on a more commercial basis.
"There are so many children in the area who have enjoyed the club so much for so long, and the council doesn't seem to understand how local the gym is.
"At the moment, the club's 80 elite gymnasts are still in training, but they are having to go as far as Kensington, Kent and Sudbury Hill."
However, the club can no longer accommodate its 700 recreational gymnasts.
Mr Cox said: "I think we can build the numbers up again quite quickly with a bit of marketing and I think the recreational gymnasts would come back."
The club's former home in South Ruislip was built to last only 15 to 20
years, but it has now been open for 28 and the council has concerns about the club using it.
The leader of Hillingdon Council, Ray Puddifoot, said: "The liquidator has not yet returned the lease to us, but once we get it back we will need to inspect the premises to see what state it's in before we make a decision. "It is well past its sell-by date now, and there is no long-term future in it, so if they are serious about running a gymnastics club they should be trying to find another base. "It's possible they could have a temporary lease, but I would think six months at the most. The children and gymnasts of Hillingdon deserve better than that old building." [25a0] To show your support for the new HSG, or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01895 631535.