The largest council-run gym in York is set to double in size to cater for an anticipated increase in demand next year with the arrival of the London Olympic Games.
Plans have been approved by York Council for a £520,000 loan, which will be repaid from income generated by gym users.
The project will now push forward to the formal planning stage and if given the go-ahead, work on the site is expected to start in April, with the new facility set to open in October 2012.
Feedback from existing members showed that the current gym facilities were good value for money but that many felt the gym was too full, particularly at peak times.
Users at Energise will now have a say in the style of gym, including which equipment will be installed, as the number of machines will increase to 80.
Paul Bickle, leisure centre manager, said: “Since Energise opened in 2009 the fitness suite has been very popular with residents. We are just finishing refurbishing our changing rooms, which will further improve the whole customer experience.
“The gym expansion will give an Olympic boost for 2012 when it’s hoped that the team can help all its residents to seize the enthusiasm from the games to bring sport into their lives.”
Energise was the first leisure centre in the UK to be awarded the Inclusive Fitness Industry Mark, which means that all the equipment is set up to be used by both able-bodied and disabled users.
It was also a finalist in the Best Performer leisure centre category for the national Association of Public Service Excellence awards last week.