Background

A former Church Hall in Blaengarw, formerly used as a boxing gym and sauna, that had fallen into disrepair has been extensively renovated to provide a first rate gym and fitness facility thanks to a Green Shoots grant from reach.

Reach Help

Gareth Fudge, who owns the gym, was keen to bring back into use a building that was well known in the community and to promote health and fitness in Blaengarw. “The building was very dilapidated and the grant enabled the repair and regeneration of the building” says Gareth. Green Shoots funded £50,000 of the total project cost of £61,126.

Outcome and Impact

The newly refurbished and sympathetically restored building which opened for business at the end of March 2014 now houses a fully equipped gym on the ground floor level. This level allows fully disabled access to the gym and also contains the changing room facilities for disabled users. There is a basement level where a sauna and locker and changing facilities are situated. A mezzanine has been opened up in the building and the original wooden floor from the downstairs room has been laid in this large room. Suitable for dance, exercise and yoga classes, the room is already heavily booked by instructors wanting to use this terrific facility. In addition, there are two smaller rooms on this level which are used by other micro enterprises – a beautician, a sports therapist and a dietician. “The Green Shoots funding has helped provide facilities to enable young entrepreneurs establish businesses in our local community which complement the gym” explains Gareth.

The gym facilities are open seven days a week and the early morning times, Mondays through to Fridays, are especially popular. “People living in Blaengarw now have this facility on their doorstep” says Gareth. “They don’t have to leave the valley, particularly on the weekends, to go and use a gym. Some people coming to us are new to a gym. It’s not that they didn’t want to use one before but because of ours being local, with flexible opening times and weekend availability, they are able to come”

"Without the grant it would have been very difficult to have started my business. It has enabled a group of young people to pursue their dreams of owning and running their own businesses and, at the same time, provide something positive for all ages in the local community."

Gareth Fudge