New top gymnastics and trampoline centre planned for Sunderland
A new gymnastics centre could soon open on Wearside under new plans lodged with council chiefs.
This week, Sunderland City Council received a planning application for units 9-10 off Sandmere Road in the Leechmere Industrial Estate.
The change of use bid aims to convert a warehouse building into a ‘gymnastics and trampoline centre’.
If approved, the Sunderland hub would operate during the afternoon and evening on weekdays and on weekend mornings.
Applicant AAASports is the largest gymnastics, trampoline and cheerleading provider in the north of England, with hundreds of members taking part in activities across the region every week.
The company also operates a site in the Southwick area of Sunderland.
A planning statement from agent Fairhurst, on behalf of the applicant, states the proposed centre in the Ryhope ward would be connected via public transport links and help promote healthy lifestyles.
Around six part-time jobs would also be created, alongside new training opportunities and apprenticeships.
The planning statement goes on to say:“The siting of the club at a dedicated facility will also provide the opportunity to provide pre-school classes which are of a great social benefit to local families.
“The facility will also be able to provide access to school groups who may otherwise not be able to access excellent dedicated gymnastics facilities.”
The planning application has been backed by British Gymnastics, the official governing body for the sport.
A supporting letter to council planners reads: “The club have been trying to identify a second suitable space to convert for some time without success. They have now found one with a supportive landlord.
“The club have developed and grown an excellent programme from both their dedicated and satellite venues which is both financially sustainable whilst being community focussed.
“They have an excellent workforce – often a limiting factor when trying to increase capacity – and this workforce stands them in good stead given the current changing landscape of our sport.
“Granting change of use will allow the club to offer an excellent service to their existing members and will enable them to develop their offer to more of the local community and this is something we fully support.”
AAASports members range from beginners to international competitors with services and classes provided from pre-school age onwards.
The company is also recognised as a Centre of Excellence for Disability Gymnastics.
A decision on the new gymnastics centre is expected by the end of September.
For more information or to leave an online comment, visit www.sunderland.gov.uk/online-applications and search planning ref 20/01338/FUL