Virgin Stay Active!

Members and staff at Virgin Active Health Club were shocked to learn this week that the Corfe Mullen part of the business will close at 2pm on 21st February, in just four weeks' time. Most staff will lose their jobs and existing membership subscriptions will be honoured at the larger and more expensive Cabot Lane branch.

A peaceful protest was held today (Sun 19th Jan) at 2pm outside the premises to register people's unhappiness, coordinated by Sarah Burns and attended by a number of other councillors and Annette Brooke MP. [... more...]

No reason was given by the company for the closure and the business is known to be profitable. It's thought that a rent increase by the site owner triggered the closure decision.

A pupil at Corfe Hills arranged a petition against the closure.

Sarah Burns said that councillors are unhappy and will meet this week to discuss their response, though any action will have to be taken quickly due to the short notice period given. Some bystanders pointed out that if any other operator takes over the premises to continue to serve the village, it's important to arrange it before any equipment or fittings are decommissioned or removed.

If the closure goes ahead and no other operator takes over, the future of the site and premises are in the balance. It's already been suggested that the site could be used for housing but any use presumably depends on the current site owner.

No houses will be allowed

The site is in the 400 metre heathland no build zone and is also within the green belt. Therefore the only use for this site is its current use. No applications would be accepted for a change of use due to the above reasons. So it will either be a gym and village hub or a derilict site. I am pretty sure that we don't want the latter option, so we will try to help the landowner find a new lease holder or try to take it on ourselves if possible for the community. It all depends on negotiations. Also it was Virgins decision to leave this site as they are spending £3mill on refurbishing the cabot lane site which charges double the membership fee of east dorset. Unlike Holmes place, they chose not to find a new lease holder to tqke onthe site, presumably because they ddidn't want competition from another gym.
Cllr Sarah Burns

Online petition

If anyone would like to voice their support for the campaign to retain leisure facilities in Corfe Mullen, please sign the online petition at Thanks!


We have also set up an Online Petition (already over 300 signatures!)asking the Council to keep the facilities. It's at Please sign and spread the word!

We've used one of your photos, hope that is OK?

Re: Protest pics

Fine, go ahead.

A credit mentioning this site would be appreciated.


Unfortunately the 38degree site doesn't allow for any photo credits. Sorry!

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