THE council's leisure centres have been left with 'historic' equipment as a new provider takes over, one user claims.

Zenah Rowe, a long-term member of Wellington Leisure Centre, has hit out at Everyone Active as it takes over the facilities.

Everyone Active took charge of the council contract for the five leisure centres in the area, Blackbrook, Wellsprings, Wellington, Vivary Golf, and Taunton Pool, at the beginning of August.

The new provider announced it would be investing more than £1million into the centres, but in order to do this, some closures were needed.

Both of the gyms in Taunton are set to have their equipment revamped by the end of August, but Wellington gym-goers will have to wait until September.

Ms Rowe said: "I pay for an annual membership, and now it seems I will be missing out on two months of my year.

"The equipment has been taken out, and what we have been left with is historic.

"It's going to be like this for two months.

"I appreciate there is going to be a transition period. But some recognition or a gesture is needed to ensure their Wellington customers stay members.

"In Taunton, at least you can go to the other gym while the closure is in place, but that isn't so easy in Wellington."

Ms Rowe says classes have also been cancelled as the disruption takes place.

Wellington Sports Centre will see a £353,000 upgrade, but will be closed for 10 days from September 16 while the changes take place. Everyone Active says the closures were staggered to 'reduce disruption' for its customers.

The new provider admits the remaining equipment is not ideal, but has added extra facilities to Wellington memberships while the work takes place.

Mark Washington, contract manager at Everyone Active, said: “We have inherited the gym equipment at Wellington Sports Centre, and acknowledge that it does not meet the usual high standards offered by Everyone Active.

“Any changes to the centre’s group exercise programme are linked to staff changes and availability of instructors. Due to the fitness equipment we have inherited, we have had to make some changes to the Fitness Motivator classes but we are looking at running an alternative programme in the coming weeks.

“We understand and share the frustration with our customers therefore all customers at Wellington Sports Centre are welcome to use the gym facilities across any of our Everyone Active leisure facilities until Friday September 27.

“All Wellington members will also receive free use of the thermal spa at Blackbrook Leisure Centre and Spa, free golf access at Vivary Golf & Adventure Centre and free badminton and squash sessions at Wellington Sports Centre from Monday August 12until Friday September 27. This will automatically be added to their membership.

“We thank customers for their patience during this time and we are excited to for them to see their new and improved facilities.”