CALLING all couch potatoes — Bolton’s first free outdoor gym has opened in Queens Park.

The council has spent £12,000 installing new equipment at the park off Chorley New Road, including two slaloms, a fitness walker and a leg push for people to get fit in time for summer.

The outdoor gym has been paid for out of a £2 million investment pot into sports and recreational facilities across Bolton.

Since opening last week, the gym has already attracted the interest of walkers, runners and families visiting the park, which is also set to be transformed into a beach on Sunday, May 25.

Cllr John Byrne, the cabinet member in charge of neighbourhood and community services, said the new gym was “very exciting” for Bolton fitness enthusiasts.

He added: “Queens Park is already popular with walkers, runners and cyclists and we hope that this new outdoor gym will provide an added attraction for them to visit the park.

“It allows them to use traditional gym equipment in an attractive location and we’re sure it will be a popular addition to our park facilities.

“The other investment we will be making in draining other pitches, refurbishing tennis courts and creating cycle trails should mean that there is a sport or activity for everyone across the borough.”

As part of the investment programme, Bolton Council is also spending £474,000 improving Hulton Lane Playing Fields with four new football pitches, changing rooms and toilets planned.

More than £600,000 will be spent draining other playing fields, as well as £300,000 refurbishing tennis courts including the set at Moss Bank Park.

Another £200,000 has been earmarked for new and refurbishing multi-use games areas, and around £150,000 is set to be spent improving cycle trails.

The £2m set aside for improvements is directly for sports facilities, and cannot be used for the day-today running of the council.