Published: 17:08, 21 April 2021
| Updated: 17:09, 21 April 2021
A £400,000 revamp of a former packing factory is set to begin after a bid to transform the building into a state-of-the-art gym was given the go-ahead.
Canterbury City Council planners have rubber-stamped proposals to convert a part of manufacturer Wahl’s former Herne Bay base into a fitness centre.
Firm Leading Results Fitness will move into the 930 sq m site in Sea Street, creating at least 15 new jobs.
And company boss Rob Whitfield believes the addition of a barber shop to the facility will help draw people in.
“I expect it to be very popular,” the businessman said.
“The equipment that we have and the range of things we have won’t have been seen in that area before.
“At the moment, we have the largest free-weights facility in Ashford and will probably have the largest in the Canterbury district as well.”
The centre will have a 90-person capacity, with memberships capped at 750 at any one time.
Mr Whitfield says the first 300 members will be eligible for a reduced £25-per-month fee, while those signing up later will have to pay £39.99 every four weeks.
He expects to fork out a six-figure sum renovating the vacant building ahead of its planned unveiling in the summer.
“It’ll be in excess of £400,000. We think it’ll take approximately 16 weeks, which puts the opening to about late-July or early August,” Mr Whitfield explained.
“It was used as a packing centre previously, so it needs to be completely converted into a gym with a nice reception area, showers and changing rooms.
“We’re looking to create a minimum of 15 jobs. We’re trying as much as possible to employ young, local people who want to build a career.”
The gym owner expects the centre to operate between 5am and 11pm most days.
Wahl had long been based out of the site, but decided to put the buildings on the market for £4.5 million two years ago ahead of a move to Manston.