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Co-op supermarket in Oakham could become home to a new gym

A new fitness centre with gym equipment, studios, two saunas and an ice bath could open within a town supermarket.

Method Health Club Ltd hopes to provide personal training and fitness classes from the Co-op in Oakham.

Central Co-op has identified an area of the Burley Road building which is surplus to requirements and has been looking for potential tenants for more than a year.

The gym would include weights, strength and cardio equipment. Photo: istock
The gym would include weights, strength and cardio equipment. Photo: istock

Method Health Club has now applied for planning permission from Rutland County Council to change the use of part of the building and open there next year (application 2024/0650/FUL).

Spokesperson Cheryl Hersey said: "We hope to open a fitness facility in Oakham in 2025. Having researched the local market we hope to bring something a bit different to the town, with state of the art facilities, luxury experiences and quality fitness coaching.

“We hope to make a substantial investment in the space and look forward to sharing more about the project with local residents as plans progress.”

Yoga class. Photo: istock
Yoga class. Photo: istock

The proposal includes a ground-floor area with two saunas, an ice bath, a training area for group sessions plus strength, weights and cardio equipment. There would also be changing rooms, a juice bar and reception.

A mezzanine floor would include a wellness studio for yoga and pilates, a fitness suite and a store room.

Co-operative in Oakham
Co-operative in Oakham

The proposed opening hours would be Mondays to Thursdays from 6am until 9pm, Fridays from 6am until 8pm, Saturdays from 7am until 4pm and Sundays from 9am until 1pm.

Terms of a lease have already been agreed.

Find out about planning applications that affect you at the Public Notice Portal.

In a supporting letter to the council, Central Co-op’s senior asset manager, Glyn Jenney, said: “As part of the society’s ongoing review in respect to ‘right sizing’ our stores, it was determined that there was surplus space within this store which was not being utilised to its best potential.

“Terms have been agreed with Method Health Club Ltd to take a lease of the surplus space for use as a member-only gym.

“The new gym will be an additional facility for the residents of Oakham but without any additional impact on the built environment as it will be contained within the existing built structure of the Co-op supermarket and will utilise the existing car park and service areas.

“The out-of-town location also ensures there is no additional burden placed on the existing town centre infrastructure which is already operating at full capacity. It is hoped the introduction of the gym will be mutually beneficial for all parties.”

Two other gyms - CrossFit Oakham and BEfit Gym Oakham - operate within the town but the largest sports facility, Catmose Sports Centre, closed in May when the county council announced it could no longer afford to subsidise the service.

Some of its former members have set up a community interest company with the aim of opening a community-led fitness centre in the town. They are in talks with a landlord and have raised nearly £4,500 towards the set-up costs.

What do you think of the plans? Share your views in the comments.

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