The award-winning team at Longridge Community Gym is aiming to create a circular walk around the town to help boost the health of local people.
Gym managers Darren Salmonand Angie Harrison gained unanimous backing from the town council after Angie presented details of the idea at last week’s meeting.
Inspired by the success of Preston’s Guild Wheel, the Longridge Circle was praised as a great idea by councillors, who pledged to back the enterprise to the full and help to source funding.
“It is only in the development stages at the moment, but we feel it would be in the best interests of the community to have such a health facility,” said Angie.
“We feel it would be great to provide everyone in Longridge with an accessible route to businesses, schools, shops, services.... a sustainable and healthy transport route without people having to jump into cars.
“People could cycle or walk in safety, especially those living in the new developments we might get, who could feel isolated and distant from shops and services.”
Where the circular route would go was not yet decided, as other service providers were being sought and applications decided on for funding.
In her presentation, Angie explained that she had discussed the project in depth with Coun Rose Adamson.
“We talked about including a few different partners, applying for a pot of money from different sources, such as Sport England, to start preparing the project and asking if any other councillors or groups would be interested in giving their support.”
She was currently having talks with the creators of the Preston Guild Wheel for advice and had come in with a provisional estimate of £50,000 for the project.
“We feel we are in a really strong position now and that we have built up services using the community gym for people’s health and well-being.”
Coun Adamson commented: “We have lots of lovely paths around the area which could be used for the Circle, providing safe routes to school, for keeping fit walking or cycling not on roads. There is money available for doing this, so let’s get something good out of it.”
The council also agreed to fund the popular mobility classes run by Angie and Darren. Both are self-employed workers at the gym and are helped by volunteers. Their report said that classes for local elderly people with particular needs were continuing to be a success.
After the meeting Angie said how pleased she was that councillors had given such a good response to the Longridge Circle plan.
Thanking councillors, she added: “We have always worked closely with them and they have always been so supportive of our projects.”