New leisure centre set for Blackpool

Coun Norman Hardy
Coun Norman Hardy
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MARTON is set to get a new state-of-the-art leisure centre, swimming pool and sports store.

And the huge development – totalling more than 5,000 square metres – will bring a wealth of jobs with it, should the plans by passed by Blackpool Council.

Wigan-based Dave Whelan Sports has lodged plans for the massive new project on the site of the former Focus DIY store on Sanderson Way, off Vicarage Lane.

The DW Fitness Club plans include a huge swimming pool with an associated spa and steam room area, a huge gym area including free weights, cardio-vascular and resistance weight machinery.

The sports giant has a string of gyms across the country as well as a sportswear empire.

Owned by multi-millionaire businessman 74-year-old Dave Whelan, the DW group already boasts more than 60 gyms across the country, and sports.

The former owner of troubled sports retailer JJB Sports – which narrowly avoided administration earlier this year – bought the gym firm two years ago.

He is now concentrating on expanding the number of gyms in the firm’s portfolio, while simultaneously heading back into sportswear retailing.

A DW Sports spokesman said: “Features will include a state-of-the-art gym with an extensive weight room and functional training area.

“There will be a superb pool area with steam room and spa area, varied group exercise programme, cafe, free parking and massive sports store.

“And the new club will create a number of varied jobs in the area.”

Jobs will include leisure centre staff, cafe staff, retail assistants and lifeguards.

The leisure centre side of the business will cover around 2,200 and the retail unit 3,000 square metres.

Coun Norman Hardy, who represents Hawes Side ward, said: “At first glance this is interesting.

“I would certainly welcome the jobs - it sounds like a fair number of staff will be needed. It looks interesting at first glance.

“I will certainly be welcoming any new businesses here.

“Shops have opened on that site in the past and have closed fairly quickly so this should be good news.

“Most things are better than an empty shop.”

Rumours that Blackpool was set to get a further super gym were denied today.

Fitness First told The Gazette that it had no plans to open a facility in Blackpool, despite claims the business was looking to take over premises in Bloomfield ward.