A MOSSEND man has unveiled ambitious plans to turn the Fighting Scots Gym into a community facility.
The gym in Adamson Street was initally opened last February by Billy Nelson as a retreat for his stable of professional boxers including WBO lightweight champion Ricky Burns.
Now Frank Gilluley and wife Michelle have taken over the lease and are aiming to make full use of the former Mossend Bowling Club site and not just the clubhouse.
The plans include installing a football pitch, running track, assault course, lighting and a canopy in order to allow the facility to be used all year round and introduce the likes of bootcamp, weight loss, boxercise, kickboxing and power circuits training for both children and adults.
Frank said: “I used to be involved in martial arts for many years and always done a lot of boxing and kickboxing as well as weight training and general fitness so my wife Michelle and I have taken over and plan on making the gym a facilitiy for the full community to use.
“I think it will be a great, I’m meeting with the council and hopefully they will help us with lighting and point us in the direction of grant funding.
“There’s no particular time frame, we’re just trying to get it done as soon as possible.
“We’ve got the full compounded locked fast now on a 25 year lease from the council, so anything we do will be here for years to come, we’re committed to making it work so putting a lot of time and effort into it and confident it will work.
“We are introducing various things, but if something isn’t working we’ll change it, we’re looking for feedback from anyone who comes in so we know what they like and what they don’t in order to improve it as necessary.
“Also trying to help the young ones, as rather than hanging about the streets I’d rather they were in training, and staying just two minutes up the road myself I feel it’s important to help my own community.”
The gym will be open from 6-11am and 2-9pm for the public and 11am-2pm for professional boxers, which Billy staying on to coach juniors and the pros.
The plans have the full backing of Ricky Burns who believes having a wider variety of tools at his disposal will improve his training regime.
He said: “It’s a great base and since Frank took over he’s already brought in so many new things so the gym is not just open to the pros now, but for the benefit of the whole community.
“Some of the things Frank is planning, like the assualt course and the running track, I can incorporate into my training, so it will benefit me and the public being able to come in doesn’t bother me at all.”
Mossend and Holytown councillor Frank McNally said: “There can be no doubting that the closure of Mossend Bowling Club had a detrimental impact on Mossend and the surrounding area.
“As much as the Fighting Scots Gym utilised the club house, there was little interaction with people in the community, and the surrounding grounds were not put to use.
“I wish Frank and all involved the best of luck in their endeavours.
“With a renewed community focus, I hope the club will become a great asset to people, young and old, throughout our area.”