A NORTH Oxford leisure centre is the latest sports complex to be refurbished as part of a £2.2m city-wide investment.

Work has started on improvements at Ferry Leisure Centre, Summertown, which will double the size of the gym and replace all current equipment.

The refurbishment, scheduled for completion in November, will also see a complete overhaul of the changing facilities and improvements to the reception area at the centre in Ferry Pool Road.

Plans are on display in the centre’s reception area to allow people to see what the finished centre will look like.

But the interim arrangements at the centre have come under fire from some users.

Roz James, from Kidlington, said members should be offered a price reduction during building.

She said: “Working out in one cramped, dirty, non-air-conditioned squash court in the height of summer is considered an acceptable substitute for the gym by management.”

The council said refunds had not been offered because the work would cause minimal disruption and the centre would remain open as usual.

Councillor Mark Lygo, the council’s executive board member for sport, said: “Our aim is to provide affordable quality leisure facilities that the local community can utilise on a pay as you go basis or by becoming a member.

“The improvements will really enhance the whole centre and provide a better facility for residents.”

Ferry Leisure Centre is run by Fusion Lifestyle on behalf of the council.

The company’s divisional business manager, Steve Holt, said: “The centre with its gym, pools, sports hall and fitness studios is already very popular with local residents and visitors alike, but due to the popularity of the gym it was getting very busy.

“These improvements will ensure that visitors can use all the latest equipment without delays and will make the centre more accessible and enjoyable for everyone.”

The council said improvement work had been funded from the savings created by transferring the management of leisure facilities to Fusion Lifestyle.

Work started on a £400,000 improvement project at Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre this month and is set to be completed in October.

The sports centre in Pegasus Road will get a cycling spin studio, improved changing facilities and reception area as part of the refurbishment.