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Bury St Edmunds Town council agrees £24k for outdoor gym

Outdoor gym in Hampshire
Outdoor gym in Hampshire

Exercise bikes, cross trainers and pull up bars could soon transform a Bury St Edmunds public space into an ‘adult’ playground.

Bury Town Council, Abbeycroft Leisure and St Edmundsbury Borough Council are working on a joint initiative to build an outdoor gym on Moreton Hall – with the town council agreeing to put in £24,000 to fund the bulk of the project.

Cllr Andrew Speed, chairman of Bury St Edmunds Town Council ANL-161025-171616001
Cllr Andrew Speed, chairman of Bury St Edmunds Town Council ANL-161025-171616001

It is not yet known when the gym will be up and running or where exactly it will go, but the preferred site is the Heldhaw Road Recreation Ground.

In his presentation to the town council last week, Warren Smyth, CEO of Abbeycroft Leisure, said the Heldhaw Road site was accessible with parking and close to other community facilities as well as the start/finish of the newly launched 5km run/walk route, allowing an opportunity to link the two, and would help improve what was currently a ‘redundant area’.

He told councillors about outdoor gyms in Camden, London, and Sefton, Merseyside, which had experienced a positive uptake and gave examples of equipment typically used.

This included a chest press/seated row for users wanting an upper body workout, a lateral pull down/shoulder press and leg press/bench for those keen to work on toning and a cross trainer and spinning bike to offer a cardiovascular workout.

Cllr Andrew Speed, town council chairman, said: “I think it complements the route they’ve just opened and the fact it’s a free, open to all, facility in a town that’s growing significantly has got to be of great benefit, and, clearly, the NHS is aware of the pressures of diabetes and obesity so anything like this surely is a help.”

He added: “The town council will actively be looking at other locations in future years should there be a need from the local community and the one on Moreton Hall proves a success.”

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