A new Puregym is coming to Woolwich located below residential blocks and set to open on 30 September.
Puregym are setting up shop on Plumstead Road near the Elizabeth line station and opposite the forthcoming Woolwich Exchange development.
The company applied for planning permission back in February 2022, with plans approved and fit out commencing in recent months.
It’s more competition and potential issues for Greenwich Council’s leisure centres operated by Greenwich Leisure Limited – who trade as Better – following on from declining membership numbers over the past few years.
In early 2020 it was revealed that the Waterfront had lost 20 per cent of its membership in just a year. That was before the pandemic.
In Woolwich the Waterfront is due to close with a new centre opening on General Gordon Square – though plans are long delayed with the latest estimate being 2025, and now construction price rises is a major issue as inflation rose a whopping 26.4 per cent in a year on the UK Construction Material Price Index.
Coming off the back of issues around cost overruns at Woolwich Works and the need for fresh loans to keep that running, they’ll be some nervousness in the Town Hall over the Woolwich leisure centre.
It is also set to see 500 homes – though the project only provides a net increase of 27 council homes out of that total despite.
Better also used to operate a gym beside Lidl but that was closed.
The issue isn’t limited to Woolwich. Greenwich Centre was shedding members too for some time though Eltham was holding its own – yet that could change.
Last week I covered an application for a low-cost gym on Eltham High street at Sports Direct, which followed another application to open a gym at the former Next unit. Those two will compete with the Eltham Centre.
Puregym have also opened in Kidbrooke.
All in all the new gym will provide low cost access for many but headaches for politicians in the borough and those at Greenwich Leisure Limited.