‘According to Scarborough Council, this gym doesn’t exist’

Compass Gym ad pix .Picture Richard Ponter.121345d
Compass Gym ad pix .Picture Richard Ponter.121345d

The owner of Scarborough’s biggest gym has cried foul after it was bizarrely omitted from a crucial report on the Weaponness development.

Compass boss Nick Ingham has made a formal complaint to Scarborough Council after his gym, the biggest in the borough, was excluded from a report commissioned by the authority to assess the need for gym space in the town.

With the report set to go before the council’s cabinet, Mr Ingham says that while he wants the development for Scarborough, the report is “inherently flawed” and feels the authority has no other option than to carry it out again.

“I would like to think this is a genuine mistake, but I have serious concerns over why Compass has been missed off from this report,” he said.

The report was carried out by the independent consultant Neil Allen Associates on behalf of the council, and Mr Ingham added: “I just can’t believe that right along the chain of command, nobody from Scarborough Council noticed that this list missed the biggest gym in Scarborough.”

In a statement from the authority, council leader Tom Fox said that the reason the gym is missing is because it is not included on the Active Places Power database on which the reports are based.

However, Mr Ingham disputed this, adding: “I’ve been in this industry for eight years, and I’ve never heard of this.”

“It’s like the council saying you’re not included because you’re not in the Thompson Directory - there’s no requirement to register,’ adding that Compass is part of the nationally recognised Fitness Industry Association.

Mr Ingham’s calls for action have been echoed by Cllr Sam Cross, who added: “It’s here that we see yet another example of wasted money on a flawed report that does not include the biggest provider in the area.”

The report assesses the number of gym workstations in the town, and in summary, the report still finds that even without Compass’ workstations, there is “no evidence” that further health clubs are needed, such as Weaponness.

Cllr Fox accepts the findings, but insists that the Weaponness development will only be to replace stations lost by closing existing council centres, thus justifying the site.

However, Mr Ingham feels a gym shouldn’t be the priority of the council, adding that there is “clearly” a demand from the public for services not offered up by the private sector - such as a new swimming pool.

He said: “I’m openly in support of Weaponness, but if they don’t get this right, it could be the biggest white elephant in Yorkshire.

“Why focus on a service the private sector is providing?”