Fears over future of Chepstow gymnastics club

A Chepstow gymnastics club focused on encouraging children from low-income families away from gang cultures could be forced to close, supporters fear.

Kestrel Gymnastics Club, based in a former warehouse on the Bulwark Industrial Estate, is not-for-profit but faces a hike in business rates.

Coach Ceri Middleton said the club provides a safe environment for local children to access facilities in one of the most deprived areas of Monmouthshire.

However, rising business rates coupled with high rent is making it “impossible” to keep this much-loved community facility running.

The club has appealed to Monmouth MP David Davies for help. He visited during a training session on Friday evening (22 March) and has vowed to take up the matter with the Welsh Government.

“It was fantastic to see the children enjoying learning a sport that teaches more than just gymnastics,” said Mr Davies.

“This is a huge community facility that keeps over 200 young people off the streets. They also offer parkour and open sessions to help those with less income have fun.

“Unfortunately, business rates in the area together with the rent being charged for the industrial unit is causing massive financial problems.

“If the club ends up having no option other than closure, it would be a huge blow to the area.”

Mr Davies has since written to Welsh Finance Minister Rebecca Evans asking for the matter to be looked into.