Health club users are appealing to a hotel to change its mind about closing their gym.
The Elite Health Club, based at the Crown Plaza in Langley Drive is to be closed on May 31 to make way for a bar and restaurant.
The change will see nine leisure staff lose their jobs.
Club member Filomena Resce organised a petition after learning that, although space had been set aside for a new gym, it would only be open to guests.
Filomena, 38, of Pound Hill, said: “It’s all about health and fitness today and warnings of obesity and what are they doing? They’re opening a restaurant.”
Filomena pointed out many members had been part of the club for more than 20 years and, during that time, the club had raised thousands for local charities.
Gym member Claire Dodoma spoke of the importance of the club to older people and added: “What they do is have their swim and then go for a coffee. It’s a social thing for them.”
Robert Nipper, general manager at the Crowne Plaza, said the hotel needed to accommodate the needs of its guests. He added all staff had been offered positions within the hotel chain but none opted to stay. Mr Nipper also said the changes should create between six and eight new jobs in November. To sign the petition, log on to www.thepetitionsite.com/574/212/569 .