PARENTS who use a city gym have hit out over the decision to move its popular crèche.

Parents were told in February that the crèche at the St John's Sports Centre, which has been running for a number of years, will be closing and moving across the city to Perdiswell Leisure Centre at the end of this month.

Alexandra Repton, 38, who uses the gym and the crèche regularly, said: “This crèche has been going on for so long that the ladies who run it are looking after the children of people who they looked after as children.

“In our view they have never promoted it properly. One of the mums was a member at the gym for three years before she even knew the crèche existed. It would be a shame to lose it as we have all made great friends here, not just the kids, but the parents too. My two boys love coming to the crèche and it seems a really narrow-minded decision. The whole decision just seems a bit rushed to be making a big change like this with so little consultation and thought for the members.”

A spokesman for Freedom Leisure, which runs the two centres, said: “On April 1, a brand new crèche will open at Perdiswell Leisure Centre to replace the old childcare facility at St John's Sports Centre and facilitate many more families. The new crèche, managed by Freedom Leisure and in partnership with Worcester City Council, is a direct response to a recent customer survey.

“Upon appointment as the local leisure operator by the council, we have worked closely with them and residents to ensure that facilities support the widest number of people possible which has meant a number of changes and improvements to the centres and services. We completely understand that the closure of the old crèche at St John's may affect a small number of customers but it’s simply not viable for us to operate two separate facilities, and by moving it just three miles up the road we will be able to support even more parents and children.

“It was our customers who identified the need to transfer the crèche facility back to Perdiswell, which we are pleased to have been able to action. The existing team at the crèche at St John's will all move to the new facility which will offer an enhanced experience for crèche users; with better access and parking, new facilities and more places available.”

A city council spokesman said the crèche was a matter for Freedom Leisure.