VITAL funds have been secured to develop a specialist Wellness Hub in North East Lincolnshire, bringing new therapy equipment and a relaxation studio to the heart of Grimsby’s Health and Wellbeing Centre.

Grant support from Sport England, North East Lincolnshire Council and Lincs Inspire, totalling £180,000, will see the creation of a substantial health improvement zone within the original Grimsby Leisure Centre building, supporting the greater wellbeing of its customers.

The council’s regeneration partner ENGIE is managing the project and have appointed contractors, UniBuild, to start work on this exciting new facility, which will see currently under-used ground floor space re-configured to create three unique zones for exercise, rehabilitation, relaxation and mental wellbeing. The facility will also feature improved accessible toilet facilities and a private space for one to one discussions and support.

Rob Allison, operations manager for Grimsby Health and Wellbeing Centre, said: “We are incredibly excited to be working on this unique facility, which will be far-reaching and bring countless wellbeing benefits to so many.

“This hub is designed as an inclusive ground floor facility for all customers including those who are living with long term medical conditions or undergoing post-operative rehabilitation. Very different to a traditional fitness gym, the specialist equipment central to the Wellness Hub uses an electronic power system meaning that users can work passively or actively depending on their physical condition or ability.”

As part of the project, the centre’s existing power assisted exercise machines from UK Manufacturer, Shapemaster, will be moved from the first floor into the Wellness Hub. The larger space will offer a much more welcoming and social atmosphere, provide room for even more specialist assistive equipment as well as further complementary wellbeing services.

Rob added: “The existing toning suite at the site is already a nationally recognised facility for the number of customers it supports, but once this work is complete our Wellness Hub will be home to the largest toning therapy facility of its kind in the country and stationed alongside a new studio space for low impact group exercise classes.”

To be completed in the Summer, the Wellness Hub will support many of Lincs Inspire’s existing and new members, together with patients referred by GPs and other health care organisations and medical professionals.

Cllr Proctor, portfolio holder for economic development, housing, and tourism from North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “The Wellness Hub is ideal for rehabilitation, those not used to intensive regular exercise, and people who are living with long-term medical conditions.

“The existing suite supports those living with the physical effects of health conditions, such as a stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, arthritis and Fibromyalgia, as well as those recovering from joint surgery to name but a few. The social engagement is also vitally important as is the guidance and caring encouragement from Lincs Inspire’s wellbeing team.

“I’m pleased that the Council has been able to support this project and I anticipate that this will be a great asset for our residents.”

This new Wellness Hub will also provide a much-needed service to help residents reverse the effects of the pandemic, such as poorer mental health, sedentary lifestyles, and lack of motivation.

As well as supporting the rehabilitation of post-COVID patients, leisure facilities in general have a vital role to play in helping to get the nation back on their feet, being healthier mentally and physically.

David Heathcote, Business Development Manager at Shapemaster commented, ‘The team at Grimsby Leisure Centre and Lincs Inspire are true pioneers in specialist exercise and programmes for older adults and those with long term conditions. The expansion of their existing ‘wellness’ offering is a shining example of how to support and engage older populations and communities, improving health and wellbeing, whilst supporting the NHS and many other local services in what they deliver. We are so proud to be part of their ongoing programming and this further development.’

The new Wellness Hub will be capable of supporting around 600 regular customers attending twice weekly. Following this recommended usage, and depending on each individual, the aim is for customers to regain strength and confidence opening up the potential to explore a wider choice of leisure and wellbeing activities including swimming, mainstream gyms, and outdoor activities such as walking football and cycling.

Lincs Inspire will keep customers updated on the progress of the new Wellness Hub via their website and social media pages and look forward to being able to welcome customers to the new facility.