LAURENCEKIRK could be in line for a state of the art gym, if ambitious plans by a local man come to fruition.
Fitness trainer Gary Fairweather wants Aberdeenshire Council to build a gym on land within the business park and he in turn would lease the building from them.
Speaking to the Observer, Gary said: “I used to live in Australia where there are so many gyms and I am currently working at a gym in Aberdeen.
“Fitness is such a massive thing at the moment, but people from Laurencekirk and the Mearns have to go to either Brechin or Montrose for gym facilities.
“I have been thinking about this for some time and I approached the council to see if there was space in the business park available.
“The council have bought a plot of land upon which Journeycall are looking to expand and I hope to share that site.
“I have had drawings made up and the hope is that our gym could be between the exisiting and new Journeycall buildings.”
Gary hopes to go into partnership with his girlfriend Sally Henderson and they have started a facebook page to promote their idea http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002631128485
“We have had huge support via Facebook. We set up the site to see if the people of Laurencekirk would embrace the idea and their support has been overwhelming.
“We asked for feedback and already people have been asking if there will be creche facilities etc.”
Gary has been in discussions with the council’s commercial development manager and these have been positive.
“I can’t see how the council can fail to support us. We are doing something for the community and in these days of carbon footprint awareness, how can it be right for people to drive 20 miles to use a gym?
“Our rates will be very competitive with the council-owned facilities and in addition we would like to bring in a family membership for four people for only £70 a month.
“We now need a commitment from the council to build the gym. We have had a business plan drawn up which we have submitted to them.
“We would hope to sign up 500 people and if we do it would be a profitable business. Our aim is to have 50 state of the art pieces of equipment and run over 40 classes a week.
“I have had discussions with Business Gateway in Aberdeen and our figures do stack up.”
Sally is a trained beautician. She and Gary will work together in the business and ultimately hope to take on staff.
“Fitness is a boom industry at the moment. We would also expect to get referrals from doctors and work out a programme to improve the health of these people.
“There is a gym in the exisiting sports centre in Laurencekirk but it is very small and it is used by the school during the day.
“It will be the same when the new Mearns Academy is built. There will be gym facilities, but the pupils will always get first use of it. Our gym will benefit the whole community.”