Fears for future of Colyton Grammar School’s LED studio

A keep fit class at the LED studio. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

A keep fit class at the LED studio. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

More than 170 sign a petition urging officials to protect community use of the room for fitness classes

Colyton Grammar School has stressed its commitment to supporting local residents following concerns over future plans for its LED leisure studio.

A petition has been launched opposing any moves to curtail community use of the room where regular fitness classes are held.

Helena Williams-Pugh, who attends tyoga sessions there, said changing it to a gym and installing expensive exercise machines was being mooted.

Her petition, signed by more than 170, says: “We use the studio for 52 weeks of the year both daytime, weekends, and evenings. It is part of the heart of our local community, offering a facility for keeping fit for local people - some of whom are parents, grandparents, past teachers and pupils of Colyton Grammar. There is no other place where this could happen locally. All classes are attended by over 20 people, often with waiting lists for places.

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“We firmly believe that any school, publicly-funded, should be prepared to share facilities, that we have helped to pay towards, with us, especially at times when not required by the children.

“Should the room be turned into a gym, at huge cost - over 100K would be spent - and with the number of machines that would fit into a room of this size, it would be suitable for only five to seven people to use at any one time.

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“We the undersigned strongly urge you to reconsider any decision that would change the use of this room.”

Colyton Grammar School headteacher Tim Harris told The Herald: “The school is pleased to confirm that it is currently working closely with East Devon District Council and Leisure East Devon to provide a sports facility that continues to meet the needs of the local community and the school.

“Negotiations are ongoing but we are hoping to make a firm announcement with more details in the near future. The aim of all parties is to extend and enhance provision for the community, where possible, particularly for evenings and weekends.

“We are keen to reassure our neighbours that Colyton Grammar School remains committed to the community in which it sits.”

After meeting school officials, Seaton and Colyton County Councillor Martin Shaw said: “I remain very concerned the morning classes, which are highly valued by local people and make a contribution to local wellbeing resources, could be ended precipitately. I have urged the school and LED to find a way in which the daytime classes under threat can be maintained.”

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