Staff at a leisure centre that keeps its members coming back for longer celebrated after being crowned the best in town.

Watford Leisure Centre Woodside, which is run by Watford Borough Council contractor Everyone Active, won the Watford Observer's gym of the year crown this week.

Employees were presented with the prize by Amanda Franklin, brand development co-ordinator at Newsquest Essex & London, which owns the Observer.

The gym, which has recently had a major refurbishment, keeps its member for much longer than most in the industry, which means people are keeping fit for longer than the usual New Year guilt regime or summer holiday fat blitz.

Health and fitness manager Janine Rodgers said: "We have worked relentlessly to provide exceptional standards of service, coupled with our incredible recently refurbished facilities, and our pledge is to continually improve upon our current standards, and an award of this type only makes our endeavour worth it."

Watford Woodside has just had a £1.8 million refurbishment, in which the fitness suite has been extended to include Power and function zones, and more state-of-the-art fitness equipment.

It also has a new spinning studio, a bigger fitness studio, new changing rooms and toilets.

It also has a new toning suite - designed as an introduction for reluctant gym-goers - which includes toning chairs and tables, fitness kit and functional training area, specialised instructors and an exercise programme to suit all abilities.

Everyone Active contract manager Gary Foley said: "I’m really proud of all of the hard work that the team at Watford Leisure Centre Woodside put in on a day-to-day basis.

"Everyone Active and Watford Borough Council have created a gym that offers something for everyone in the community and I’ve been really impressed with the positive atmosphere that our fitness team have created."