Popular Worle gym saved from closure
- Credit: Archant
A Worle boxing gym which is used by more than 400 youngsters and adults has been saved from closure.
Warrior Gym, in the Coker Road industrial estate, faced the prospect of shutting after its temporary planning consent lapsed.
The amateur boxing club and martial arts school has been running since 2013 but national planning policies state any industrial unit should be used for industrial purposes.
More than 550 supporting comments were made on North Somerset Council's planning portal to keep the gym open.
Owner and coach Dean Lewis was delighted his gym will continue to operate.
He said: "The decision came out of the blue really, it had meant to go to the council's planning and regulatory committee, but with the overwhelming support we had it didn't go that far, which I'm really pleased about.
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"I was worried for quite some time because it is my living and liviehood, this gym is so important to people.
"The help I've received from councillors and those wanting to keep this place open has been unbelievable and I can't thank them enough."
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Planning officers agreed no music shall be used on the premises until sound insulating material is installed and all training must take place during the amended hours of 7am-9pm.
The gym employs three full-time staff members and five part-time and caters for all abilities by training kids as young as four years old, up to adults in their 70s.
One-to-one training and specialist sessions for people with learning disabilities, autism and other health conditions are also offered.
North Worle councillor Marc Aplin knows from first-hand experience how beneficial the gym is to the community,
He added: "Any talk of taking away such a popular facility was madness and we made very clear to council colleagues that it couldn't happen.
"Having trained at Warrior Gym myself, I think we're incredibly fortunate to have Dean and his team bringing such positive influence and enjoyment to the lives of so many people.
"Boxing and martial arts encourage team spirit, confidence, discipline, physical fitness and mental toughness, all of which translate well into all areas of life.
"Everyone who trains at Warrior Gym will be pleased it's staying and it's a huge relief for Dean and his team who work incredibly hard."