Michael Donkin is dedicated to getting Houghton fighting fit.
The enterprising trainer has launched Evolution Fitness, the area’s only registered not-for-profit Community Interest Company fitness centre, in Newbottle Street.
Our aim is to have a friendly and welcoming facility which is affordable and open long hours and we hope this will make us more active and appealing to the wider community.Michael Donkin
Apprentice star Katie Bulmer-Cooke, herself an award-winning personal trainer, dropped in to cut the ribbon and wish the new venture well.
Michael’s aim has been to create a one-stop shop for gym-goers by offering related services such as personal training, group fitness, sports massage and beauty treatments.
“There is a need in the area,” he said.
“There are 14,000 people living in Houghton, but our lifestyle has become increasingly sedentary.
“Evolution aims to tackle that and the growing waistline of modern life.”
He believes part of the problem is that opening times at a lot of gyms do not fit in with people’s working hours and other commitments such as childcare. Michael, who has been working in the industry since 2002, said: “Our main point is that we are open seven days a week, offering long hours.
“We are open for 15 hours a day Monday to Friday and 12 hours – from eight til eight – on Saturdays and Sundays.
“Our aim is to have a friendly and welcoming facility which is affordable and open long hours, and we hope this will make us more active and appealing to the wider community.
“All staff are qualified by accredited training providers and continue to develop their skills to ensure we only give accurate and up-to-date advice which works.”
Evolution is housed in the former home of Muscle Tone gym, which it took over in October.
Michael has overseen an extensive refit, which has created two private changing rooms, a coffee lounge, massage room and beauty treatment area.
The main gym is split between fitness studio, body weight and functional room and a main gym with traditional equipment.
Evolution can be contacted on 0191 584 3501.