A BRADFORD gym owner has spoken of his despair after he was forced to close his business less than a week after re-opening. 

New restrictions brought in to try and curb the spread of Covid-19 in the Bradford district mean indoor gyms, indoor fitness and dance studios, indoor sports courts and facilities and indoor swimming pools are not currently able to open their doors to customers. 

Terry Holt, owner of The Pride Gym in Low Moor, hit out at the rules in an impassioned letter last Friday.

He said: “I write this letter as a despondent and despairing owner of an independent, family run gym in Bradford South. 

“As of midnight on July 31 2020, only six days from opening after over four months closure, we have been illogically closed yet again. 

“I invite other gym owners in the district to support this letter and add their business to the signatories.

“This weekend the nation currently, which is entering an obesity pandemic, can go to the pub, eat in a restaurant, have their hair cut and get their nails done. 

“In Bradford they can still do all of this but they can’t go to the gym. 

“I implore each of you to outline the rationale for closing us and receive this letter with a formal invite to come to my gym so I can showcase the measures, under the guidance given, that we have invested our own and member’s money into putting safety first. 

“I’m available 24/7 to host.

“Blood, sweat and tears have literally gone into creating a community where members improve their physical and mental health in what I confidently state as one of the most hygienic and sterile environments in the region. 

“The impact of four months closure is incredible. 

“We lost half of our revenue stream and a third for the next year. 

“I stress that the lack of guidance, support and funding to ensure these services continue will cause a number of vital businesses to be pushed to extinction. 

“I implore the Secretary of State and MP for Bradford South to lobby with the Leader of the Council to provide financial support to our sector immediately.

“The logic of the closure drives me to a formal request to release the rationale and scientific evidence for closing gyms ONLY with two hours’ notice via a laughable webpage. 

“Please bear in mind, a member can now drive half a mile down the road into Calderdale or Kirklees and train in a gym; taking their money elsewhere, overloading those gyms, interacting with people outside of their usual social demographic.”

Bradford South MP Judith Cummins said targeted action is the right thing to do.

However, she said any such action “must be clearly communicated so that the reasons for local measures are understood.”

She pointed out that there must also be additional government support for the affected local area.

She added: “For several weeks I have been calling on the government to provide additional help to businesses and workers in the event of localised restrictions. 

“Government also needs to change its one-size-fits-all approach to winding down economic support, especially as we can see that some sectors have been able to resume business more quickly than others and some are still limited.”