I asked a previous West Park worker about the 40% business. They replied thus:
Lettings / tenancies lost due to the mothballing:
- Pilates wanted to take the over Active Space (second gym) as tenants on a permanent basis. They offered £500 per month initially, which would have increased as business grew. All out of the window due to the mothballing.
- Bootcamp were using Active Space and were moved into smaller rooms when mothballing began. UK Indoor Fitness, who run Bootcamp, wanted to move all their activities to West Park - see their website http://www.ukindoorfitness.com/ for a list of all the classes they do. Again, out of the window post-mothballing.
- Kickboxing - again, were using Active Space and were greatly frustrated to lose it - hence writing to their MP
- Yoga and belly dancing groups both wanted to move into the Active Space and were annoyed when they were moved into smaller rooms
- Demand for rooms on CLYM [City of Leeds Youth Music Groups ] nights was such that the building could have been 100% full - however we were forced to turn away requests as all the ballet corridor rooms and the old NUT office were mothballed
- The 'no new tenants' rule was informal and flexible until Dec 2011 when the Talking Newspaper moved in, and then there was an official crackdown [don't know where from]
All in all it seems the gyms were amongst the most in-demand parts of the building (doubtless more so if the changing rooms and showers could have been made functional again), so it seems insane to want to knock down that bit in particular.
I think the question that springs to mind is, what danger, suddenly on a half-term holiday, precipitated the need for a full closure and evacuation, down to the last glockenspiel, of the West Park Centre, when all this mothballing makes it clear that someone was leading us up to this point.