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Totton and Eling outdoor gym

Working With Borough Councils

Borough, city and town councils look after their communities’ local leisure facilities, and are often responsible for multiple recreational sites. Like all local authorities, these councils face challenges on multiple levels, including constrained finances, rapidly rising demand for critical services and macro-level issues from inequality to climate change. Open-air fitness can start to help address some of these issues through cost-effective, sustainable exercise provision. 

Peckham Rye Outdoor Gym

6th February 2024

At market leader Fresh Air Fitness, we’ve worked well with a number of borough authorities, helping councils to invest in outdoor gyms as a way of giving their local residents the opportunity to exercise outdoors for free and so avoid costly gym memberships. Often, we’ve provided these clients with equipment on multiple sites. 

Councils Fresh Air Fitness Has Worked With

In London, we’ve worked with the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, a small, densely populated area of London with great ethnic diversity and widely varying incomes within its borders. 

In Kensington Memorial Park, we created a new 30-station multi-fitness hub for the whole community to enjoy, set within attractive landscaped grounds and incorporating a diverse range of equipment for use across a broad spectrum of ability. This thriving space previously had no workout facilities, and we first had to remove some old play equipment. 

Our finished gym included a facility that was suitable for wheelchair users, included resistance and cardio machines and was finished with mulch surfacing. 

The borough’s Parks Project Manager Simon Dunne said after the launch: “The whole community is using and enjoying this outdoor gym.” 

Peckham Rye is another vibrant, culturally diverse inner-city area in the south-east of the city within the London Borough of Southwark. We worked with Southwark Council on the installation of outdoor gyms at Mary Harmsworth Park in the grounds of the Imperial War Museum. Our innovative, cost-effective solution replaced worn, under-used equipment and breathed new life into the park. 

The borough council then asked Fresh Air Fitness to install something similar at Peckham Rye Park, for which they are also responsible. Here, the council chose our award-winning Big Rig, suited to a wide range of abilities, as the focal point, surrounded by other resistance and cardio kit. And we ran a full-day launch for the project including demos for using the equipment from a personal trainer. 

Totton and Eling Town Council is located in the New Forest, Hampshire, obviously in a much more rural community. 

With the help of local funding, the borough installed four gyms across its area’s most popular parks, including cardio and strength equipment and wheelchair-friendly products, to attract a really wide range of abilities and ages. 

Having won the tender, we installed outdoor gyms at: 

  • Aikman Lane
  • Eling and Testwood recreation grounds
  • New Forest Park 

Each location brought its own challenges, and we had to research the user demographic of each site before proceeding. But every project was finished on time and on budget, with full groundworks completed and a variety of accessible equipment added. 

We knew our Big Rig would again be ideal at Aikman Lane, popular with quite large numbers of young people. The other sites tended to be used by adults, and we fitted 10 pieces of kit in each, providing 19 user stations in all, and offering a mix of strength and cardio equipment. 

We opened each site with launch events, providing an experienced personal trainers to run four fitness sessions at each site on launch. All sites are now well used in this community.  

So if you’re a borough, city or town council, take a closer look at what we offer. Our outdoor gyms bring myriad benefits to users, all year round, free of charge. Read more about these benefits and what we’ve done for other types of authority here.

Then get in touch to learn more about what we could do to elevate the fitness offering in your parks and recreational grounds with our award-winning, fully compliant fitness equipment.

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