IMPROVEMENTS have been made to a city council-owned gym labelled a ‘dump’ late last year – but work is still to be done.

Rusty equipment littered Barton Leisure Centre’s gym and dirt and grime lined its walls on a visit on December 6.

On a visit back to the gym yesterday, it was clear some things had been improved but notable problems remained.

On a positive note, and perhaps most notably, lettering on the side of the gym visible from the A40 has now been replaced.

Last month, visitors passing by would have been welcomed to the Bartn Leisur ntr. Motorists are now able to read its full title. The walls facing the road also appear to have been cleaned.

Linda Smith, the council’s deputy leader and executive board member for leisure and housing, said work had been done – but a ‘long list’ is outstanding and will be completed soon.

She said: “There was no excuse for the letters falling off at the back.

"That was just asking for the coverage we got. That’s been fixed and so have a lot more jobs.”

Ms Smith added: “I have got a long list of work we have been doing in the last few weeks. There are more plans for a bigger spruce up that is being made along with who will be doing that work.”

All work at the city council-owned leisure facilities is contracted to Fusion, a not-for-profit company. Its contract for the council runs until 2024.

It runs Oxford Sports Park, which includes Oxford United's training ground, Leys Pools and Leisure Centre in Blackbird Leys and Ferry Leisure Centre in Summertown.

Ms Smith added: “Fusion has been stretched; recruitment has been an issue. They have just recruited another manager in Ferry and hopefully at the Leys so I hope that will really make a difference.”

Fusion is also responsible for Oxford Spires Sport and Fitness, at Oxford Spires Academy in East Oxford, and Hinksey Outdoor Pool.

Last month, Labour councillor Mark Lygo labelled the gym a 'dump' and said he had pleaded with managers to improve it.

But rusty equipment remains in the gym, including a cross trainer, which was in notable need of replacement last month.

An exercise bike which had been reported as broken to staff on October 10 last year – according to a note fixed to it – is also awaiting repair.

Of the equipment in the gym, one of six treadmills, one of three rowing machines and one of 10 bikes were broken yesterday.