15:59 Thursday 07 March 2013

Lifeline thrown to gym members left in the cold

Written byADRIAN JENKINS

MEMBERS of a gym left in the cold by its closure are to have their contracts honoured by another provider.

Michele Elizabeth, who ran Felines, in Moor Street, Burton, for five years until it shut on Friday, said The Ladies Club (Derby) Ltd had offered its services to the ‘small minority’ of customers who paid annual subscriptions.

She announced the business’s offer hours after revealing that Felines had been muscled out of the leisure market by the harsh economic climate.

Earlier this week, Miss Elizabeth said the gym’s parent company, Felines Ltd, was expected to be liquidated after racking up debts said to run to five figures.

The business’s collapse left more than 200 members with nowhere to go, including the majority who paid by standing order.

Although those with annual subscriptions have now been thrown a lifeline, the offer arrived too late to prevent stinging criticism from one of them, Amy Wroughton.

Writing on the Mail’s Facebook page, she revealed she had only joined Felines in December.

“Nobody from the gym has told me it has closed and I suspect I won’t be the only member who wasn’t informed,” she wrote.

“I only knew about it through a friend.

“I think this is absolutely disgusting.

“I am sure many will have turned up to a class to find the place closed.”

She suggested she would now have to wait ‘an undisclosed amount of time’ for the administrators to refund her money, claiming: “The customer care here was atrocious.”

Previously, Miss Elizabeth attempted to head off such criticism by revealing she had funded Felines for the past two years without drawing a salary and now stood to lose almost £50,000.

“The members have a vision I fleeced the club – but I really didn’t,” she said.

“I haven’t made a penny and I don’t feel I warrant the backlash I may get.”

Miss Elizabeth blamed poor January trade, two break-ins and declining membership for the gym’s failure.

She said members who paid by standing order would get their March payments back.

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