10:00AM, Tuesday 25 May 2021
Last Monday was ‘a momentous day’ for Phoenix Gymnastics Club – signing a deal to erect a temporary building on its new site in Fifield.
Recently, the fate of the club hung in the balance as it struggled to get hold of funds to relocate.
Its lease has ended on its current site and there is now an application in place from Bray Film Studios Ltd to demolish the building.
“(Monday) was a momentous day for Phoenix as we signed a deal to erect a temporary building on our new site in Fifield,” said Alisdair Thornton, chair of trustees.
“Right now our contractors are constructing the access and preparing the site for our temporary home, before immediately moving on to the construction of the building that will take Phoenix to a whole new level and secure our future for decades to come.
“It seems like a distant memory when we all packed out the town hall to hear the result of our planning application but finally, the new Phoenix is about to become a reality.
“Our current landlord has generously extended our stay at Water Oakley for the final time, to make the move to our temporary home as seamless as possible.
“As we move out, the bulldozers will move in and we will say goodbye to a building that has served us so well for so many years.”
Preschool, recreational and squad classes will continue at Water Oakley until the week commencing June 14, with the exact date to be confirmed.
The gym is expecting to be closed for a week while it moves equipment and sets up the temporary gym.
The new temporary building was originally intended to be an ‘inflatable’ building dubbed ‘the igloo’ – however, the first available would not have been ready until late July.
“It was a gap in training that our gymnasts could not afford, therefore we have had to look at more expensive options,” said Alisdair.
Instead the club has obtained a ‘competitive deal’ on a ‘far more substantial’ temporary building, similar in size to the Water Oakley gym, except with a much higher roof height.
Classes will be able to resume as usual while the new facility is built next door. It will continue to offer coaching at all levels.
The address of the new home – and the temporary facility – is Fifield Road, SL6 2PG, less than a mile from its current home.
The build for the new facility should take eight to nine months. The current expectation is that Phoenix will open the doors to its new ‘forever home’ by the end of January 2022.
Phoenix Gym is now on the lookout for financial help for the cost of the temporary building.
“We are so excited that the club will be saved and that our dream facility is in sight,” said Lynn Bushell, centre director.
“We are also so grateful for the assistance with the funds. This is not a donation so we will need to fundraise.”
The club will be producing fundraising packs in the next few weeks. Visit justgiving.com/campaign/phoenixgymnastics
Police were called to the River Thames between Cookham and Bourne End yesterday at about 3pm, to reports that a teenage boy had entered the water but hadn’t been seen to leave.