First look inside Powerhouse Gym in South Shields as it prepares to reopen this weekend
A South Shields gym is preparing to welcome back members as lockdown restrictions are lifted this weekend.
Powerhouse Gym on North Street, South Shields will reopen for the first time since March on Saturday, July 25, in the latest lifting of lockdown measures.
Gyms and leisure centres across the country have been closed since Monday, March 23 when the coronavirus lockdown was introduced.
But earlier this month Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden announced that indoor pools, gyms and other sports facilities would be allowed to reopen from July 25.
Powerhouse owner, Rhys Iles has been working hard over the last few months to make sure he can welcome back customers to work out safely.
In line with Government guidance there will be a maximum of 50 people permitted in the gym at any time.
A one-way system has been introduced with separate entry and exit points, social distancing markings on the floor and hand sanitiser stations installed throughout the gym.
Each machine has its own secure area marked out, with wipes and sanitiser provided for people to wipe down the equipment before and after use.
The changing rooms will not be in use in keeping with the guidelines and gym-goers will be expected to arrive ready to train.
“The gym is looking great and I’m really looking forward to getting open again,” said Rhys.
"Everyone is bouncing to get back, more than anything for the social aspect – with us being an independent gym we’re like a little family.”
Over the last week Rhys has been holding open evenings for people to have a look around and familiarise themselves with the new measures – and he’s even taken on some new members.
On Saturday he will welcome everyone back with a live DJ playing in the gym from 3pm and a few socially-distanced drinks to toast the new normal and give people a chance to catch up.
He added: “We’re hoping people come back to support independent gyms and are looking forward to seeing lots of old faces and new.”
For more details visit Powerhouse Gym South Shields, Home Of Champions on Facebook