A GYM owner is urgently calling for more support to keep people fit and healthy through lockdown.

Tyler Mullings, 30, owns the Real Life Health and Fitness in Halliwell Business Park, and has been working with staff to keep customers active throughout the pandemic.

The business owner, who campaigned for gyms to be considered "essential premises" and could open under Tier 3 rules after the second national lockdown, was devastated to be told to close again.

He said: "It was just the worst news ever – we've got our second location that was set to open on Saturday.

"It's devastating – when we found out I told everyone they could go home and have a bit of a cry but then we needed to get focused and stay positive.

"In my house we've got my partner who's a school teacher, my mum who has COPD, and then me trying to run my business so each one of us is affected differently.

"My mum's scared to leave the house and we're all going through something so different that it really helped me understand how the pandemic's hitting different people."

When the first lockdown hit, Mr Mullings moved his team to online classes and nutrition plans, with staff working from the gym to create live videos for their members.

Now, staff are offering three hour-long videos streamed live to the gym's Facebook group, letting members take part in exercises from the comfort of their homes.

The firm will also be giving away 1,000 free monthly memberships to NHS staff, care home workers, and teachers, to help them keep healthy through the pandemic.

Mr Mullings added: "Shutting the gyms, after knowing how much we help and benefit the NHS and people's mental and physical health without offering any alternatives.

"You're just told to go out and exercise in the pitch black and the freezing cold – how is that meant to be a smart decision?

"Because people have had that release taken from them they're realising how much it benefits their mental health alongside their physical."