Work to transform Stowmarket Aldi into 24-hour gym gets underway

PureGym at Stowmarket

PureGym has started fitting out at the old Aldi store in Stowmarket. - Credit: Mid Suffolk Council

Work to convert the former Aldi store in Stowmarket into a 24-hour gym is finally underway and it should be ready to open later this year.

The building was bought by Mid Suffolk District Council in 2018 in a bid to speed its regeneration and now national fitness chain PureGym has started work to fit out the premises.

PureGym received planning permission in late 2019 to run a 24-hour gym in the unit, creating 13 full-time and two part-time jobs, but original timescales were then delayed by Covid. 

This week however, the new tenant arrived on site to begin the long-awaited transformation, with facilities expected to include weight and exercise machines, a free weights area and activity area – available to members 24 hours a day.  

The new Stowmarket site is also being promoted on PureGym’s website ahead of its opening later this summer.

As well as increasing the choice of leisure facilities in the town, the building includes a further vacant space still available to let, and paves the way for improvements to the neighbouring Union Street West car park – with new surface, lighting and updated pay and display machines.

Peter Gould, Mid Suffolk District Council cabinet member for assets and investment, said:  “This is great news for the town. At last, we can look forward to a new era for this unit, with a change of use from retail to leisure supporting our vision for bright and healthy futures for our residents, as well as bringing people in to the town centre.”

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Duncan Costin, property director of PureGym said:  “We are absolutely delighted to begin development on a new gym in Stowmarket, which will bring significant footfall and new jobs to the local area. The development of this new gym in Stowmarket solidifies PureGym’s commitment to UK expansion and providing affordable fitness to the nation."

The investment by Mid Suffolk District Council is part of its wider vision for Stowmarket.  Other town centre investments include buying the vacant former NatWest building in the Market Place – with the aim of enabling the expansion of the John Peel Centre – and the revamped Regal Theatre, due to open later this month.

Aldi, meanwhile, is also set to return to the town centre – in a new purpose-built store on the opposite side of Gipping Way. The new Aldi, which has created a further 29 jobs in the town, is also due to open later this summer.

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