CAMPAIGNERS fighting to save children’s gymnastics classes at Colchester Leisure World have been given fresh hope over their future.

Colchester Council confirmed last month it was planning to axe the classes to finance the council’s other leisure facilities and make space for an expanded gym.

Kelly Birchmore, whose daughter Charlie attends the classes, launched a petition to save them.

Now it has been revealed talks have taken place about how the classes might continue.

However, the council is still consulting staff and no final decisions have been made.

Martin Goss, councillor for Mile End, said the issue boiled down to finding a new destination with the right surface and storage space for gymnastics equipment.

As well as other areas at Leisure World, including Charter Hall , primary schools, including Queen Boudica, have also been approached, he added.

Mr Goss said the Colchester School of Gymnastics in Highwoods has offered places to the 12 pre-school children who had been at Leisure World.

He added: “Leisure services in Colchester are subsidised by the taxpayer for £650,000 a year.

“Although sports are exceedingly important, that cannot carry on with the Government cuts.

“It is a difficult balancing act and it is being looked at seriously at how money can be put into subsidising it. People are working hard behind the scenes to look at what they can do to help.”

Meanwhile, 200 signatures were collected for Miss Birchmore’s petition by Colchester Against The Cuts in the town centre on Saturday.

Andy Abbott, campaign spokesman, said: “Our message that this cut goes against the idea of the Olympic legacy, went down very well.

“This cut comes when there are increasing concerns about the health of young people, and an acceptance that we should be doing more to encourage children into a healthy lifestyle.”

A Colchester Council spokesman said: “A consultation on these proposals has been taking place over the last few weeks and the council have received feedback and suggestions from members of staff.

“We will fully investigate these ideas to see if they are workable before making a decision. These proposals are all working to make the customer’s experience of Leisure World’s facilities ones that are modern and forward thinking, whilst being economically sustainable.”