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Total Fitness to turn into hardware store
9:09am Monday 15th October 2012 in News
AN application has been submitted to turn the former Total Fitness site on Winwick Road into a major homeware store.
If passed The Range - a retailer that offers 16 departments including; DIY, homewares, furniture, lighting, arts and crafts, and garden - is set to open there.
Warrington Borough Council will now consider the application which was submitted on October 1 by developer Robert Foden.
He bought the land on September 21 and will now look to rent it to The Range, with a 15 year lease mooted.
Mr Foden said: “The emphasis on why they were chosen is they are going to create 120 jobs which is a massive plus for the area.
“We are desperate for employment in Warrington.
“Now it is down to the local councillors to see if we can get this opportunity.”
Mr Foden refused to disclose how much he paid for the site.
He claims that Total Fitness was not able to renew its lease because it was struggling to pay rent of £963,000 a month.
The gym closed suddenly on September 2 without warning, prompting an angry backlash from members.
He said bosses were offered the chance to stay open until the planning application was completed, but instead chose to shut down.
“They could not sustain it because there were not enough members,” said Mr Foden.
“I think they had space for 5000 members but only had around 700 by the end.
“Effectively Total Fitness is and was a dinosaur in as much as the building was far too big for the amount of members that they had.
“When Pure Gym opened that was the first nail in the coffin.
“When Warrington Borough Council developed Orford Park that was the final nail in the coffin.
“It was offered to me because it’s the nature of my business to develop it and because I’m known in Warrington.
“This was an opportunity I felt was right and decided it was time to move it on.”