Published: 11:05, 16 January 2020
| Updated: 11:31, 16 January 2020
A brand new 24-hour gym is set to throw open its doors at a cinema, restaurant and leisure complex next week.
Snap Fitness will be the first permanent tenant to open in one of the retail units at Elwick Place in Ashford when it welcomes gym-goers on Tuesday.
The company's bold black and red signage has been erected on the front of the 4,284 sq ft unit - which is located next to Cineworld's Picturehouse cinema.
The US fitness company - which currently has 67 gyms in the UK and eight in the county - has signed a 10-year lease for a 4,284 sq ft unit as part of a half a million-pound investment in the site.
It is set to create 10 new jobs in the borough.
Inside, workers have been busy installing new gym equipment ahead of the launch.
Memberships are being advertised as pay monthly with no long-term contracts and include access to cardio equipment, a large free weights area, group fitness classes, and a functional training area.
Members will be able to access the gym 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Customers will be able to use individual shower rooms and book personal training sessions.
Isaac Buchanan, chief executive of Snap Fitness UK and Ireland said: "We are delighted to add Ashford to our list of locations across the UK.
"This represents a more than £500,000 investment in Elwick Place and the team will be working hard to get the new club ready to welcome new members.
"If you’re new to gyms or it’s been a while since you’ve worked out, we can help you get started.
"If you’re an experienced trainer, we provide you with the variety you need to keep your workouts fresh.
"We are passionate about making Snap Fitness Ashford a happy and healthy and place for all members young and old, at all levels of experience."
Cineworld’s boutique brand Picturehouse started operating from the newly-constructed site when it opened in December 2018, as well as a 58-bedroom Travelodge hotel next door.
Ashford International Model Railway Excellence Centre, also known as AIMREC, recently opened its doors - filling the first retail unit underneath the cinema on a temporary basis.
But despite this, the £75m leisure complex has remained largely empty.
Afro-Caribbean restaurant Dansaki announced it would be moving into a retail unit in March, with Faversham's Macknade to follow.
Ashford Borough Council (ABC) says negotiations are underway with a number of businesses interested in taking space at Elwick Place, with further announcements expected soon.
The authority's chief executive Tracey Kerly added: “I welcome Snap Fitness to the town.
"The company has chosen Ashford to launch its latest outlet in the UK and that decision is a sign of real confidence in the town. I wish them good fortune in the future.”
The council funded the construction of the multi-million pound development - which was built on the site of the former cattle market - in partnership with developers Stanhope PLC
Gary Bourne, Development Director at project partner Stanhope PLC, added: “Snap Fitness brings a new and different offering to the leisure mix at Elwick Place and I’m looking forward to seeing them take their place alongside the other high-quality businesses making Ashford their home.”
More by this authorGeorgia Woolf