PROPOSALS for a new 24-hour “super gym” could get the go-ahead from planning chiefs later today.

Matthew Biggar has applied to create the £300,000 facility at what was previously Hitchens store, at Farnworth Market.

As well as bringing a new fitness and leisure venue for the town, Kings Gym – as it would be known — would also create some 15 jobs in the town, 10 of which would be full time.

But before the scheme can go ahead Mr Biggar needs permission from Bolton Council’s planning committee for a change the use of the two vacant units from retail to a gymnasium.

The plans have been recommended for approval and Mr Biggar, who also runs a gym in Swinton, believes Farnworth would hugely benefit from a new fitness centre.

Craig Ronson, of agents Ronson Building Design, agrees that the project would provide a much needed boost to the town.

He said: “In Farnworth itself there aren’t too many gyms in the area.

“If you go into the centre of Bolton there are quite a few larger gyms providing a bit of competition.

“But if people go to a gym, they don’t like to have to travel too far, they need something in and around Farnworth.

“There is a leisure centre which is quite small relative to the population of Farnworth, so there is a shortage of decent gyms.”

And Mr Ronson says the gym would also bring wider economic benefits to the market and the area.

He said: “The building itself is partially used, it’s a large building that isn’t really used to its full potential.

“To cover maintenance costs you need the whole building to be utilised and this business would be an ideal way to do that. There are not too many concerns with health and safety, industrial work, pollution or anything like that. It’s quite a light business, so the risks in terms of disruption to the landlord and neighbouring businesses.”

And he said there would be other financial benefits.

He continued: “It would attract more people into the area who would not necessarily come to the area, who would use the gym, shops, local amenities and the indoor market.

“Hopefully it will rejuvenate the place as a whole.”

The 10,000 sq ft gym would be well-equipped, with areas for general fitness, weight training, massage therapy and sunbeds, as well as new changing rooms and an internal bike store.

The planning officers report says the proposal is in line with a “national trend of former retail areas starting to focus on other uses such as leisure”.

It finds that the application complies with national and local planning policies and recommends the committee votes to approve it.