Former Royal Marine seeks green light to open community gym

Joe Cottle planning to open new gym in Yatton. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Joe Cottle planning to open new gym in Yatton. Picture: MARK ATHERTON - Credit: Archant

A community gym may be open by a former Royal Marine, with two sports teams backing the scheme.

Joe Cottle wants permission to turn storage units off Yatton High Street into a place where people can get into shape.

He runs gym classes in Clevedon but wants to expand and get his 'own place'.

Joe wants to run resistance and weights classes for people of all ages, rather than pack his gym with treadmills and cross-trainers as many commercial firms do.

He said: "I grew up a stone's throw away and I want to make it as community focussed as possible."

The units in the Market Industrial Estate can only be used for storage, so Joe is seeking permission for a change of use from North Somerset Council.

Joe's cause is being backed by two sports clubs, which feel it will make a positive difference.

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Jonathan Watts, who helps run Claverham Cricket Club, said Joe's service in Afghanistan with the marines 'had made him the man he is today'.

He said: "The community is in desperate need for more accessible opportunities to improve health, fitness and wellbeing.

"The only option we have in the village is to join theclub at DoubleTree by Hilton, Cadbury House, which is unaffordable to a lot of Yatton residents, especially the younger generation.

"If Joe manages to start up a new fitness gym in Yatton he is already looking at collaborating with the local sports teams in offering more affordable options to many of the younger residents.

"There is also a bigger picture that this opportunity will help, being overweight and obesity are a significant public health concern that are linked to numerous negative health consequences.

"Physical activity is an important lifestyle behaviour that contributes to body weight regulation and Claverham Cricket Club support any initiatives that help reduce the amount of people in this category."

Russell Cox, of Yatton & Cleeve United, said his footballers' preseason was helped by Joe's sessions in the summer.

He said: "This gym offers something slightly different to your normal gyms and I think this is what Yatton needs with its increasing number of houses going up.

"We think this would be a massive success in Yatton not just for us at Yatton & Cleeve United but for all living in Yatton and the surrounding areas."

Yatton Parish Council voted to support the application last month.