AN inspirational Bewsey coach is ready to turn his dreams into a reality after getting the green light to open a gym.

Council chiefs granted Phil Leonard, 26, permission to open the new site Gatewarth Industrial Estate in Sankey Bridges following a strenuous planning process.

Phil, who battled past obesity to shed 51kg between 2007 and 2014, and co-owner Josh Summersgill are bidding to open CrossFit LST by the end of the month after their 'dream' edged closer but they admit it will be a challenge.

"After months of setbacks it was great to get planning permission – we are one step closer to opening now," said Phil.

"We have got all the equipment in storage so it is a matter of just getting everything in place and getting people through the doors so we can help them.

"It is a bit mad and it has been frustrating but it will be worth it."

Phil was left stunned by the public response and messages of support in recent months, with the gym's Facebook page now racking up more than 1,000 likes.

And he admits the friendly rivalry with Josh is set to drive the pair on to do everything in their power to make residents fitter.

He added: "We have big plans for our members once we open, it is all part of the long-term vision.

"Me and Josh have been going head to head in the CrossFit Open, it is about pride and it is good to drive each other on."

Once open, the facility will be home to a mezzanine, as well as the gym floor.