CLOSED: Owner of the Ballina Fair Swim n Gym, Peter Charlton, pictured in May this year after signing a nine-year lease with the shopping centre's owner.
CLOSED: Owner of the Ballina Fair Swim n Gym, Peter Charlton, pictured in May this year after signing a nine-year lease with the shopping centre's owner. Graham Broadhead

Ballina Swim n Gym suddenly closed

BALLINA's popular Swim n Gym at Ballina Fair shopping centre has been closed with a sign on the entrance blaming the closure on "increased costs and competition".

Concern about the sudden closure has been shared on The Northern Star's website, with one reader saying they doubted whether they would get a refund for their membership.

Ballina Fair centre manager David Griffiths would not comment on the circumstances of the closure but said it was "disappointing" for the community because of the value of the facility.

"It's obviously something people in Ballina feel very strongly about," Mr Griffiths said.

"It's been an integral part of the shopping centre since day one. I've known people going there for almost 30 years.

"It really covered the whole spectrum of ages from babies to 80 year olds.

"It's probably the most important facility in the centre."

Despite the unfortunate closure, Mr Griffiths said he had already received eight enquiries from business owners in the Ballina area about potentially taking on the lease.

He said a "fair dinkum" proposal which would work for everyone would be more than welcome by the owner.

The facility, which includes a pool and gym was built with the centre about 30 years ago, looked like being demolished in 2012 when Ballina Shire Council approved an application for a $1.8 million revamp of the shopping centre. A community outcry ensued, and Ballina Fair has never enacted the approval.



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