Shocked staff are looking at a bleak Christmas after being told their jobs look set to go.
Dozens of jobs are under threat at three popular facilities based at Royal Quays North Shields after reports the landlord went into administration and a new contract could not be agreed.
Customers and users of DW Sports’ store and fitness club as well as the adjoining Powerleague Soccerdome have been informed that the establishments will close at the end of December.
Ten employees at Powerleague Soccerdome are under threat, although the company admitted they had begun discussions to try to find them employment elsewhere in the company.
Customers of DW Sports Fitness Club have received letters stating their membership has been transferred to the nearest facility in Byker, with a free month’s membership as compensation.
A DW spokesperson said: “The DW Sports & Fitness Group can confirm we will be closing our Leisure and Retail Sites in North Shields.
“We have had a great relationship with our Customers and Colleagues in the area, but due to an inability to secure the appropriate lease arrangement with the new landlord we have been forced to make the unavoidable and regrettable decision of having to pull out of the both sites.
“We are working with our employees to look for opportunities to relocate them within the business whilst also considering other potential new sites in the region.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank our colleagues for their great service over the years as well as the people of the North Shields area for their valued custom, and hope, where possible, they will continue to use DW Sports & Fitness site in Byker.”
The indoor soccerdome had become a popular venue with leagues, social players and children holding parties.
A spokesperson for the Powerleague Soccerdome said: “We will be ceasing trade at the end of the month.
“There are ten colleagues affected by the closure and during this consultation period we are trying to find them alternative roles in the company.
“The facility has been quite popular but the landlord has entered administration.
“We enjoyed the connection we had with local football players but unfortunately it’s not viable for us to continue trading at that location.
“We have found some alternative space half a mile away and we’re looking to move some of our leagues and social players there, unfortunately it’s not indoor, and we have our Gateshead facility as well.
“We’re doing everything we can to actively help our players to continue playing with us.”
DW Sports customer Jean McLaughlin, of North Shields, said: “The letter announcing the closure came as quite a shock. I feel quite sad as I have been a member since 2003 and for that reason it feels like the loss of an old friend.
“It had so many great facilities all under one roof – a gym, swimming pool, café and shop – as well as its close proximity to Royal Quays Shopping Centre.
“From that perspective, the North Shields and Tynemouth areas are losing a valuable community sports resource and I am sure I am not the only one who will miss it terribly.
“The convenience and easy local accessibility will be lost in having to travel up to Byker and it is doubtful that any members reliant on public transport will be able to do so.
“However, all that feels quite selfish when you consider the plight of the staff who are facing the loss of their jobs in the run up to Christmas and New Year.”