Former library set to become gym

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Plans have been submitted to turn the former Hoylake Library into a gym and wellness centre.

The building was closed by Wirral Council in 2022 as part of a series of budget cuts, and a bid by community interest company The Life Tree to turn it into a venue for book clubs and events was rejected as not being viable.

The application for ‘Nomad’ on the council website states: “In addition to traditional gymnasium activities, the applicants will provide a suite of wellness services to maintain and improve mental health outcomes for members and on an outreach basis to certain societal groups.

“NOMAD offers an environment not limited to a single demographic. NOMAD will offer a unique blend of Physical and Mental well-being currently not catered for in the Merseyside area. We will be attractive to everybody including professionals, students, children and local residents.”

Artists impression of the interior of the proposed gym

The gym is promising free children’s classes and also support to local schools through meditation, yoga and breath work “to help implement the Government’s plan to support mental health & wellbeing in schools.”

The application adds: “Some internal changes would be required to accommodate separate male and female changing rooms, as well as one fully wheelchair accessible changing room.

“The only external changes would be a reconfiguration of the exit door in the single storey service block and the removal of one window from the same elevation.

“The existing car park barrier would be removed, to be replaced by a 1.8-metre high close-boarded timber fence with gates to allow for independent pedestrian and vehicular access.”

Nomad have issued a statement distancing themselves from a line in the planning statement which requests the trees and the bench in front of the building be removed as “the popularity of the bench with local alcoholics is not a good fit with the applicants’ business model”. They say it was written by a “third party professional” and they have no plans to remove the trees, and want to restore the bench.

NB: This story has been updated to include a statement placed on social media from Nomad relating to the trees and the bench.