A POPULAR gym which closed earlier this month has been taken over by new owners and will open this week.

The former DW Fitness First gym on Burnden Retail Park was shut on August 4 after the sports chain went into administration.

When administrators BDO could not find a new buyer, the retail park's owner, The Emerson Group, decided to step in to take on the facility and it will reopen on Thursday as Burnden Park Fitness Academy.

The move has saved the jobs of nine staff members who were made redundant following the initial closure of the gym. Some of the centre's self- employed trainers will return to the venue too.

It is hoped that the former gym's 3,300 members will go back to the site for their exercise as well.

The gym will be situated on the ground floor of the building. Its facilities include a large holistic studio for yoga and meditation, a functional area, spinning studio, free weights section, and large class studio as well as an indoor swimming pool, spa, sauna and steam room.

The Bolton News:

Deaglan O’Rourke from Beth Tweddle Gymnastics with Burnden Park Fitness Academy’s Dominique Casey, Debbie Skelhorn, Jane Kearns, Connor Longden and Kirsty Humphries

The Bolton News:

Staff members Dominique Casey, Kirsty Humphries and Connor Longden

Beth Tweddle Gymnastics, a training academy for children run by the former Olympic gymnast, has recently opened on the first floor of the building, which was previously occupied by the DW Sports store.

The gym’s general manager Kirsty Humphries said that being able to return to the venue with her colleagues was a “dream come true".

She said: “The last few weeks have been a real emotional rollercoaster.

"A lot of hard work had gone into getting the gym ready to open up again following lockdown so to be told less than two weeks after we had reopened that the doors would be closed permanently and that we would all lose our jobs was absolutely devastating.

“We are a very close-knit team and are friends outside of work so to be able to tell them that the gym would be reopening and that they could have their jobs back was an amazing feeling.

"Fitness is our passion so to be able to stay in the industry and return to the same venue with the same colleagues is a dream come true for us.

“We are very much a family club.

"There’s a real feeling of community and this gives us the opportunity to bring back members who have had to go elsewhere and who miss the unique service that we provide.

"We have a huge space here which means we haven’t had to take out kit or reduce capacity to meet social distancing guidelines.

"Having the backing of a company like The Emerson Group is fantastic and gives us a great platform from which to improve the member experience even further.

“It’s also great to have someone of Beth Tweddle’s stature in the same building.

"Although we are separate ventures, we complement each other very well and are planning to work closely together.

"She is offering a free trial to children of our members and there’s a real opportunity for parents to drop their children off at the academy and then use the facilities here.”

The Bolton News:

Gym workers Jane Kearns and Debbie Skelhorn

The gym will open its doors at 6am on Thursday.

Simon Wilson an Emerson Group director, said: “As a company, we have made a huge investment in Bolton over the years, not only at Burnden Park but also at Middlebrook Retail & Leisure Park, in the refurbishment of the Last Drop Village Hotel and Spa, and through our housebuilding division Jones Homes, which has built several developments in the area.

“Our decision to take on the former DW Fitness Club and to reopen it as Burnden Park Fitness Academy underlines our commitment to the town.

"As well as ensuring the survival of a popular and well-used fitness club, it will also benefit other businesses on the retail park and support local jobs and the wider economy, which is particularly important in these uncertain times.”

Anyone wishing to enquire about gym memberships can email membership@burndenparkfitness.co.uk.