A big push is being made to save a Chepstow gymnastics club threatened with closure.
Kestrel Gymnastics, based in a former warehouse on the Bulwark Industrial Estate, is not-for-profit and provides a safe environment for local children to access facilities in one of the most deprived areas of Monmouthshire.
But rising business rates coupled with high rent for the industrial unit is causing severe financial problems and making it “impossible” to keep this much-loved community asset running.
The club has been unsuccessful in becoming a charity and is looking at trying again to register as a community amateur sports club (CASC), which would provide a range of benefits including business rates relief.
Coach Ceri Middleton said if the club fails to gain CASC status, it will end up with no option than to close.
“We would very much like to continue to serve the community and give children the opportunities they may otherwise not have,” she said.
“But I’m conscious our club is under pressure and if we are unsuccessful in becoming a CASC we will be forced to close in the next financial year.”
Monmouth MP David Davies is supporting the club and said closure would be a “devastating blow” to the area.
“I have had the pleasure of visiting Kestrel Gymnastics twice over the past year,” he said.
“Both of my visits have taken place during training sessions and it is fantastic to see the children enjoying learning a sport that teaches more than just gymnastics.
“This is a huge community facility that keeps over 200 young people off the streets. It also offers parkour, trampolining, classes to children with disabilities, and open sessions to help those with less income have fun.
“I wish those involved all the best with their endeavours to gain CASC status and very much hope they will be successful in securing the long-term future of the club.”