A gym has been forced to close after dangerous concrete was found in the building - and landlords say they will not be re-letting it.

People at Hove Fitness and Squash (HFS) were told to leave the property midway through their classes on October 10 when it was confirmed that the gym was built using reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC).

Gym owners Matt Lambert, Lucy Egan and Ben Hutton were able to continue classes in the nearby dog racing stadium for three weeks but are now without a space to run their business.

The building in Nevill Road, Hove, is owned by global betting company Entain, which has now told HFS that repairs will be too expensive and they must remove all their equipment from the gym by December 1.

The Argus: Inside the closed gymInside the closed gym (Image: Andrew Gardner/The Argus)

“It’s terrible. The report says the building is high risk. Entain gave us two hours to get out while people were still in the gym and playing squash,” said Matt.

“We are looking for other venues but we really want to get back in to our home. We have got to save our club. This club is different, there’s a connection, it feels different.

“There are so many people who just won’t bother exercising now. There’s an elderly man with dementia who plays squash with one of the instructors who now can’t. We’re concerned for him.

“Our club offers a lot to children in the area, working with local schools to introduce more children to squash and affordable flexible court access. It’s not just a private club or just about adults.

The Argus: Peter Kyle has joined the fight to save the gymPeter Kyle has joined the fight to save the gym (Image: Andrew Gardner/The Argus)

“Every child who our club reaches out to is another child who will be more comfortable going to a gym or booking a court for a game with a friend in the future.”

Some 2,000 people regularly used the gym but many have been cancelling their memberships, despite the costs being frozen.

Matt said he started using the gym when he was 17 then in December 2020 he bought the company with friends Ben and Lucy.

MP for Hove Peter Kyle has joined the fight to save the club by writing to Entain chief executive Jette Nygaard-Anderson.

“We are hearing rumours that Entain have no intention of fixing this issue and I am desperately worried about the future of HFS,” said Mr Kyle.

“I would dearly love you to look into this matter and help resolve the matter as quickly as possible.”

The Argus: Roughly 2,000 people regularly used the gymRoughly 2,000 people regularly used the gym (Image: Andrew Gardner/The Argus)

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The group has arranged a photo call for 8am on Sunday, with hundreds of people expected to be at the gym to show their support. Meanwhile a petition to save it received more than 200 signatures in its first day alone.

A spokesman for Entain told The Argus: “We acted immediately to close our Nevill Road property on October 10 due to health and safety considerations after RAAC concrete was discovered.

"Regrettably, a survey has since revealed critical structural issues, forcing us to give notice to the Hove Fitness and Squash club for safety reasons. We do not intend to re-let the property.”

RAAC hit the headlines earlier this year when it was revealed that nearly 200 schools in the UK were built using the material and could be at risk of collapse.