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This is when Cambridge’s revamped Grafton Centre will finally have a gym

The date for when a gym opens its doors at Cambridge's revamped Grafton Centre has finally been..

By admin , in Cambridge , at April 22, 2018

The date for when a gym opens its doors at Cambridge's revamped Grafton Centre has finally been revealed.

Last year, The News revealed plans for the refurbished shopping centre , which included a new PureGym, an expanded H&M and a new social food quarter.

Grafton centre general manager John OShea said he was “delighted” with the news – but not everybody was keen on the idea.

H&M has already expanded its store into the ground floor of the former BHS unit, and has introduced the 'H&M Home' concept to the centre for the first time.

In October, PureGym confirmed it would be opening a fitness club on the second floor of the former department store.

A visualisation of the Grafton Centre's new great court (Image: Grafton Centre)

A spokeswoman for Legal & General Real Assets, which owns the shopping centre , previously told the News : "Work around the former BHS store will be completed with a vibrant food and beverage quarter on the first floor, to be branded Food Social.

"It will be a space especially for the local community; a food and leisure destination dedicated to creating new experiences and shared memories.

"PureGym has been granted planning permission to extend the second floor of the former BHS.

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"The affordable, no contract gym membership brand will offer a high-quality service to local residents.

"The club will also provide a series of free classes to its members such as cycling, bootcamp and circuits, and workshops will be available offering advice on nutrition and wellbeing."

When will PureGym open?

It has now been confirmed that PureGym will be opening its doors in the autumn of this year. The exact date is yet to be revealed.

John OShea, centre manager at The Grafton, said: “Were thrilled to have PureGym joining The Grafton later this year.

"The popular fitness club will open on the second floor of the former BHS unit in Great Court, where work to transform and extend the area has already started.

"Due to open this autumn, the affordable, no contract gym membership brand will bring a new health and fitness offer, including free classes for its members such as cycling, bootcamp and circuits.

BHS in the Grafton Centre, before it closed in August 2016. Picture: Richard Patterson

"It will also provide workshops offering advice on nutrition and wellbeing.”

When it was launched, the revamp of the centre had a budget of £10 million, but an extra £18 million has been allocated since.

Legal & General Real Assets stated that the additional money will go partly to create the new food quarter on the first floor of the former BHS store.

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The owners said: "The food quarter will be a space where people come together to relax, embrace the social occasion of watching a film, sharing a table to celebrate and socialise with family and friends, creating memorable moments.

"It will complement the existing Bella Italia and the 8-screen Vue cinema, which, combined with Pure Gym will strengthen the centres leisure offer, making it a prime dining and leisure destination for locals and students."

'PureGym will offer something new'

Duncan Costin, property director at PureGym Group , said: “PureGym will offer something new to The Grafton.

"Our brand has a unique offering that will appeal to the active lifestyle environment within Cambridge.

"Its a great time for us to join The Grafton, our new fitness offer will complement the existing leisure and the new Food Social F&B quarter, as part of the centres refresh.”

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The first phase of the shopping centre refurbishment has already brought about a new Fitzroy Street entrance, a double-height glazed roof with feature lighting, and double-height shop fronts to the some of the larger stores.

Future plans for The Grafton include new shops, although names have not yet been announced.

The transformed Fitzroy Street entrance of the Grafton Centre (Image: Grafton Centre)

The new Decathlon sports store , which opened in the summer, has been trading well.

The Legal & General Real Assets spokeswoman said: "We also plan to enhance the centres retail line-up through the reconfiguration of retail space and creation of new stores."

The refurbishment of The Grafton is being project-managed by Cambridge developer Wrenbridge, which has a number of other projects under way across Eastern England and the South East.

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