A READING gym has announced it will be permanently closing following lockdown struggles.

Simply Gym, in The Meadway, Honey End Lane, posted on Facebook to announce the news yesterday (June 29).

A statement said: "It is with great regret that we announce Simply Gym Reading will be permanently closing.

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"Due to the current Covid 19 pandemic, and no given reopening date, it is no longer viable for the business to operate or re-open and we will be forced to remain closed while our remaining lease term expires.

"We are extremely grateful to our staff and members for their support over the last seven years, and wish them well for the future.

"This decision was not taken lightly and we ask that the staffs privacy and feelings are respected at this difficult time.

"If you have any questions please private message us and we will do our upmost to reply promptly.

"Thank you. Simply Gym Reading"

Users of the gym have expressed their sadness at the closure.

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Karen Birch said: "Oh no what a shame. It's sad. The best teachers and friends", while Meeka Mediratta said: "This is such a shame!

"Sorry to hear that."

Paralympian Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson recently wrote to Prime Minister Boris Johnson calling on him to personally intervene to get gyms and fitness centres open sooner.

In her role as chair of ukactive, which represents gym and fitness chains, she wrote that the government should provide formal reasons for the sector not getting the green light to reopen on July 4, alongside pubs, restaurants and museums.

The sector has been told it could provisionally reopen in mid-July in England, but there have been no formal dates set and Lady Grey-Thompson asks for an explanation on how the "relative risk of a busy pub at one-metre social distancing is lower than a controlled gym or leisure centre environment".