Fitness firm pulls out as new Dolphin Square takes shape

THE multi-million pound Dolphin Square development has been dealt a blow, with a business which was due to move in pulling out at the last minute.

Anytime Fitness, which was due to be a part of the Premier Inn hotel currently being constructed, has changed its mind about joining the �35-45million project.

The decision leaves developers McLaren Life searching for a new prospective business to take over the already-constructed purpose-built mezzanine inside the hotel.

Several businesses have already signed up to the Weston development, including Harvester, Vue Cinemas, Nandos and Prezzo, but the decision will come as a blow to McLaren Life as it enters the final stages of phase one.

Scaffolding surrounding the 112-bed hotel is expected to come down in the coming weeks as it finishes its construction work, before handing it over to another developer to fit the hotel’s interior.

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Kevin Clement, site manager for the hotel complex, said his team had encountered some building difficulties because of its prime location on the seafront.

He said: “The wind has been a massive factor and, in fact, we lost work time as we couldn’t use the crane. But we are still on time to hand over in April.”

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Despite Anytime Fitness pulling out of the Premier Inn site, Mr Clement believes the mezzanine could work well as a restaurant.

Phase two of the Dolphin Square regeneration programme is also under way after Carlton Street car park was closed last month to allow building work to begin on a new three-storey equivalent.

It is expected to take about 20 weeks to complete.

The final phase, beginning in September, will see the market and current businesses in the precinct move from their current location, before new shops are built.

A McLaren Life spokesman said that, despite this week’s setback, the development was still on course to be fully opened by late 2013.

n For more exclusive pictures from inside the development, visit

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