A gym has folded on Annesley Road in Hucknall with the owners blaming prolonged road closures and disruption from repair works for the fall in trade.
Betta Bodies gym, on the corner of Annesley Road and Peveril Street, was opened by Michael Copse and his fiancee and business partner Melanie Fox in 2009.
At its peak the gym boasted over 200 members, and Melanie estimates that in January 2014 around 800 people were coming through the door every month - but a year later that number had fallen to 450.
Michael, 44, said: “It was a small family gym with a good atmosphere - but then the roadworks came. That was it - that’s what finished us. We thought ‘Why won’t they leave us alone?’”
The couple made the sad decision to close down just before the last set of road works began on Annesley Road in July.
Both of them think the problems were exacerbated by a lack of signage letting people know they were still open as well as parking restrictions and the presence of Tesco.
Michael said: “Lots of businesses have been taken over by Tesco. They offer three hours’ free parking. It doesn’t take many people to get parking tickets before they say ‘I’m not going there again.’ It’s a shame.
“Hucknall needs shaking up because all the community seems to be bothered about is Tesco. Smaller business are not getting a look-in.
“In Hucknall there used to be Cunnington’s Butchers which was there 45 years. A sweet shop on Annesley Road lasted six weeks. They are helping the High Street but what about the little roads that go off that? The only people making money on Annesley Road are the traffic wardens.”
The couple continue to operate a business as official distributors of Extreme Nutrition protein supplements.
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Coun Ben Bradley said: “I’ve asked the council to look at ways to improve the coordination and communication of roadworks, because there has to be a better way! Annesley Road has been a nightmare. Honestly, I can see things being difficult for another year or so until the redevelopment is done, and then we have to hope we’ll see the town start to flourish.”
The Wheel of Hucknall group last week voiced concerns over parking and future
Coun Keir Morrison said: “I am meeting LaFarge and Carillion who are the principal contracters on Hucknall’s Inner Relief Road next week. I will be talking about mitigating disruption. using local labour and a proper apprenticeship scheme because this is tax payers’ money. I want to reassure people that we will have an open dialogue so we can mitigate disruption.”
County councillor John Wilkinson said: “Alice Grice and I have worked to support all the businesses on Annesley Road - we managed to get compensation when Western Power disrupted the entire road, we worked with retailers to increase available parking and we have just set up a group based on Annesley Road businesses to work collaboratively to create a better future for everyone operating there.
“Annesley Road could, and should, be seen as a real treasure for our town - independent, family-run in many cases and totally local.”