Walsall gym will replace trampoline centre in new plans
A popular trampoline centre has closed after only a year – prompting a row over what should replace it.
A new gym is to open at the warehouse on Bentley Mill Way, Walsall, following the collapse of trampoline firm Jump In, which has gone into liquidation.
But ward councillor Angela Underhill stated: “There are enough gyms in the area – we don’t need another one.”
The large 25,000sq ft warehouse was originally run by Jump Nation after the building had stood empty for at least seven years.
The firm ran it for a year before Jump In took over and spent a month improving the facilities, relaunching in May last year.
But the business ran into difficulties after only a few months and the trampoline centre eventually closed a few weeks ago.
Walsall’s planning committee has approved an application by Simply Gym to provide a low-cost gym, which the company say will contribute to the health and well-being of local residents.
A council spokesman said the area was ‘not presently well-served by heath and fitness centres’.
But Councillor Underhill argued that children and young people needed exercise facilities more. “It’s a dreadful shame this trampoline centre has gone out of business,” she said.
“It was really popular with youngsters and we should look to replace it with something similar or at least aimed at that age group.”
The former planning vice-chair helped to bring the trampoline centre to Bentley when other councillors wanted to see the building turned into factory units, and the business initially took off.
“The centre was well used and really popular with young people in Bentley, Darlaston and Pleck. It appealed to all ages, from children aged three and four up to teenagers of 16 and 17. I know a lot of people are really upset about the closure,” said Mrs Underhill.
“There is very little for young people in the area and this had the bonus of providing them with physical exercise when so many spend hours on computers.
“There’s little we can do when a company goes into liquidation and we look to private companies to bring in these sorts of facilities.
“But I don’t think as a council we do enough to provide for that age group. I’m not sure we talk to them enough and find out what they want.”
In a covering letter to the planning committee, Simply Gym said its plans would ‘enhance access to health and fitness facilities’.
The business will create 36 full-time jobs.