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New £35,000 outdoor gym for elderly

The open space at Roundway, Fleetwood, that Wyre Council wants to use to install an outdoor activity area.

The open space at Roundway, Fleetwood, that Wyre Council wants to use to install an outdoor activity area.

This is the spot being lined up for a £35,000 makeover as town hall bosses trial a new outdoor gym area described as the first of its kind in Wyre.

The open grassy field, on Roundway, could become home to a new activity space aimed at keeping Fleetwood residents fit and healthy.

If the project , funded with money secured by Wyre Council as part of a nearby housing development, is successful similar facilities could be installed around the borough.

Once the project is formally approved, work is set to begin almost immediately as the money has to be spent by April 23.

Coun Lynne Bowen, cabinet member for leisure and culture, said: “We do have a lot of parks for younger people but this is one for older people. This one will have exercise equipment.

“This is the first one we have done in Wyre and I think we just need to get a feel for it.

“We will see how it goes and perhaps we will roll it out elsewhere.”

The money for the activity area was received in 2009 as part of an agreement with developer Barratt Homes when planning permission was granted for 34 properties on the site of the former Rossall Hospital.

It will be used to buy and install eight pieces of outdoor exercise equipment.

Coun Terry Rogers, who represents the Rossall ward, said he hoped the area will provide a popular place for people to meet, especially given the number of people who live alone.

He added: “Spaces like this have been very successful in Mediterranean areas like Spain – it gets people living healthier lifestyles and gets them active.

“Rossall has quite a high rate of unhealthy living and I welcome this idea.

“The facility will be available for the wider ward and hopefully people will make good use of it.

“We have got high rates of mortality in the area and it would be a wonderful way, especially in the summer months, of getting people into a fitness regime.”

A council report produced by Michael Ryan, corporate director of people and places, said: “In 2010 we proposed to install children’s play equipment on the site and the subsequent consultation with residents resulted in the provision being reconsidered to better reflect the age ranges of the population.”

It is hoped the project will promote healthier living and get more young people and adults taking part in physical exercise.

Coun Bowen added: “Given the fact there are so many older people in the borough, we wanted to create somewhere for them.

“The ward councillors are all in favour of this – I think it will be really good for the area.”

Any money that has not been spent by April 23 must be repaid to Barratt Homes. A final decision on the project is due this week.

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