‘It’s ludicrous’: More Chesterfield business owners speak out as Derbyshire starts life in Tier 4

Now Derbyshire has entered Tier 4 coronavirus restrictions, businesses including gyms and hairdressers have been forced to close for an unknown period of time.

Thursday, 31st December 2020, 11:25 am

Adam Bingham, who runs Chester Street Gym in Chesterfield, described the news as ‘outrageous’.

He said: “In my opinion, gyms are an essential service and should never under any circumstance be made to close, assuming all correct and necessary procedures are put in place to be Covid-19 compliant.

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Adam Bingham, left, Martin Wallis-Keyworth, top right, and Steve Perez.

“For us to be forced to close is frustrating.

“You wouldn’t believe the amount of messages I’ve received from people begging for the gym to remain open as it is the release of their stresses.

“This policy is outrageous as exercise is fundamental to our health and well-being, both physical and mental.”

On Wednesday, JD Gyms Chesterfield held its grand opening at the former Xercise4Less building at Spire Walk Business Park.

But just a few hours later, the Government confirmed Derbyshire would be escalated to Tier 4 on New Year’s Eve.

JD Gyms Chesterfield closed at 10pm on Wednesday and it is not known when it will reopen.

A spokesperson for the firm said: “We’re gutted about this as we only had our grand opening at noon on Wednesday.

“The atmosphere was amazing and the feedback has been phenomenal.

“We’re really sorry about this but it’s out of our hands.

“We will be back open as soon as the restrictions are lifted.”

Hairdressers were allowed to reopen in July after the first national lockdown ended – but now they are shut again in Derbyshire.

Martin Wallis-Keyworth, owner of Less than Zero Barbers in Chesterfield, told the Derbyshire Times on Wednesday: “What the hell is the Government playing at giving businesses no time to prepare and rearrange appointments.

“It’s ludicrous.”

He said his business stayed open until late on Wednesday night to facilitate all the appointments which had been booked.

Pubs and restaurants – which have been shut for much of this year – must remain closed and can only sell goods for takeaway.

Chesterfield businessman Steve Perez, who owns Casa Hotel, Peak Edge Hotel and Global Brands, accused the Government of ‘wanton destruction’ of the hospitality sector.

Scott Knowles, chief executive of the East Midlands Chamber, which represents companies in Derbyshire, said the Tier 4 announcement was an ‘extremely negative way to end what has been a desperate year for many businesses and communities’.

He added: “This announcement delivers another huge blow to business confidence, just as some signs of light were spotted on the horizon with an EU trade deal being agreed and a second vaccine approved by regulators.

“Of course, we understand the Government has a very difficult task on its hands in managing the escalating number of coronavirus cases resulting from the new strain of the disease – but businesses are still being left to pick up the pieces with the cashflow crisis of 2020 in real danger of turning into an insolvency crisis of 2021.

“Extending the Job Retention Scheme until the end of April was a welcome move in preventing an immediate unemployment disaster – but the Government now needs to up its game when it comes to supporting those businesses which have been hugely affected throughout the best part of a year.”

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