PARENT power has convinced a leisure centre to reopen its creche following a 70-name petition and positive consultation responses.
The future of the creche was left in the balance when it closed earlier this year while Fareham Leisure Centre, in Park Lane, underwent a multimillion pound refurbishment.
Although a temporary swimming pool was put up in the car park, the company that runs the centre, Everyone Active, decided to close the creche due to safety concerns.
This move upset parents, who started a petition calling on the centre to reconsider, and calling on Fareham Borough Council, which works in partnership with Everyone Active, to step in.
Kim Romero, of Rattigan Gardens, Whiteley, said she was devastated when the creche closed as there are no other gyms nearby with a reasonably-priced facility.
Mrs Romero, 38, who is currently seven months pregnant, lost three stone by going to the gym following the birth of her daughter Bea, two-and-a-half years ago, and she was looking forward to going back.
She said: ‘Following the birth of my daughter, it was hugely important for my mental and physical well being.
‘When they told me they were closing, I cried that day.’
Mrs Romero said she was inspired to start the petition after speaking to the other mums and dads who were equally as upset by the news.
The petition, which has 70 names, was due to be handed to the council’s leisure committee on Wednesday.
However, the leisure centre announced on Saturday that following an online consultation with its customers, it will reinstate the creche in September, to coincide with the opening of its new pool.
Plus, it will give all parents affected by the temporary closure three months free.
Contract manager for Everyone Active, Ian Cook, said: ‘We are pleased to say a brand new creche will open in September.
‘There will be no increase in price and as a thank you to existing creche customers, we’ll be offering three months of free sessions to any child who used the creche in 2014.
‘Full details about this offer and creche opening times will be confirmed later this month but will at the very least match our previous opening hours.’
Fareham Leisure Centre is currently undergoing a major revamp worth £1.5m – including the refurbishment of the two pools, new changing rooms and a pool water filtration plant.