Created 22nd March 2024

A FAST-GROWING gym chain is set to breathe new life into a former County Durham Wilko store.

OneGym has taken on the 20,000sq ft former Wilkos store on Osborne Road, Chester-le-Street.

A community treasure, the store closed its doors for the last time on 26 September 2023 after the national retailer fell into administration.

However, the agreement by OneGym to take on the site will once again see the much-loved community asset brought back into use.

Paul Pearson, co-founder and managing director of OneGym, said: “We are thrilled to be taking on the former Wilkos store in Chester-le-Street.

“We’ve been looking to open a gym in the town for some time now so as soon as we were shown around the site, we knew it was perfect.

“It’s in a central location with great access to transport links, has over 90 parking bays and offers us over 20,000sq ft to fit it out. It had absolutely everything we were looking for.”

Opening later this year, the branch will mark the fast-growing chain’s 11th North East venue, following recent openings in Durham, Sunderland and Wallsend.

“As two brothers who were born and raised in the region and have a real passion for fitness, it’s been a labour of love in so many ways, especially when we look at how we’re supporting our local communities and helping improve the lives of others,” said fellow co-founder, David Pearson.

“The hard work now begins in getting this site ready to open and then turning our attention at where we go from there.”

The deal to take on the Osborne Road site was brokered by leading North of England property specialist, Bradley Hall.

Callum Armstrong, Senior Chartered Surveyor at Bradley Hall, said: “It’s been fantastic working with David, Paul and the wider OneGym team on this project.

“The transformation of the site into a 24-hour, affordable gym will once again see it become a key amenity for local residents, while providing a major boost to the local high street.

“We’d like to wish them all the best as they progress with the development and have every confidence that it will prove a huge hit.”

For more information on Bradley Hall, visit:

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