24-hour gym proposed for long-term empty unit

The former PC World unit in Robert Boby Way, Bury St Edmunds, could become a 24-hour gym

The former PC World unit in Robert Boby Way, Bury St Edmunds, could become a 24-hour gym - Credit: Google

A 24-hour gym is being planned for a large empty unit in Bury St Edmunds town centre.

The Gym Ltd has applied to open a new "low cost", no contract gym at the former PC World building at Robert Boby Way, near the Waitrose supermarket.

The unit, which measures 1,219 square metres, has been vacant for five years, a planning statement said.

The company, which has 186 gyms across the UK including in Ipswich and Lowestoft, has taken on the lease for the property.

Oliver Tester, head of property acquisitions at the Gym Group, said they would be investing more than £1million in the project and it would create about 15 full-time jobs.

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He said: "We are excited about revitalising the town centre and bringing affordable fitness to the people of Bury St Edmunds. It's been a longstanding ambition and we are pleased to [hopefully] fulfil that."

Mr Tester said the gym would have "everything for everyone" - cardio machines, resistance machines, free weights, group exercise classes, personal trainer sessions.

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He said the company had looked at a couple of options in the town, adding this site had a central location with access to parking.

The building is on a retail park, which is also home to TK Maxx (in the adjoining unit) and Halfords.

The planning statement said: "The proposed use has a local catchment and is aimed at catering for the surrounding local area, with the majority of users of the facility constituting residents and employees from the surrounding neighbourhoods."

It also said "The Gym have an exemplary safety record across all existing gyms in the UK".

"Therefore, the operation and management of the premises will ensure a safe environment without an unacceptable impact on local amenity," it said.

Visitors have been flocking back to Bury St Edmunds town centre since restrictions have been lifted and new businesses have been opening their doors.

Mark Cordell, CEO at ourburystedmunds BID.

Mark Cordell, chief executive of the Bury St Edmunds BID - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brownn

On the gym proposal, Mark Cordell, chief executive of the town's Business Improvement District (BID) group, said: "This is tremendous news for a large unit that has stood empty for a number of years with the awareness of the importance of wellbeing and healthy lifestyles.

"And it's great to have a company as well-established as this one to have a location in our town centre."

The planning application was recently lodged with West Suffolk Council.

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