Brent Gilpin and Holly McBride-Donaldson, two of three Cell directors. Credit: via Creo

Gym opens at ex-police station

With most of the building now taken up by The Yard office development, The Cell fitness centre has opened in the basement of Sunderland’s former Gilbridge station.

The Cell offers over 25 led fitness classes each week, including express lunchtime sessions ideal for those working in and around the transforming Riverside Sunderland site.

Two of the three partners in the business also run Club Zest, a female-only gym on Sea Road in Fulwell.

Northumbria Police vacated the site in 2015, having occupied it from 1972. In 2020, Hanro was named as preferred development partner, triggering a £3.5m redevelopment delivered by Sunderland contractor Brims, resulting in a 30,000 sq ft office scheme marketed by Bradley Hall.

The Yard is now offices. Credit: via Bradley Hall

Holly McBride-Donaldson, a partner in the business, said: “We’re so excited to have opened in The Yard and in the city centre where so much exciting development is taking place.

“The Cell is inclusive of all genders, and we offer bespoke fitness classes for people who want to reconnect and be part of a friendly community that champions one another. We also have Brent offering physio treatments, sports massages and wellness support, and there will be a variety of workshops available to attend on the weekends.”

The Cell is being supported by Sunderland City Council’s business investment team.

Cllr Kevin Johnston, dynamic city cabinet member for Sunderland City Council, said: “The Cell is perfectly located to support the health and wellbeing of the growing workforce at Riverside Sunderland, and given the work the team already do at Club Zest, I’m confident they will make a real positive difference to our transforming city centre.

“As well as being based in a fantastic new office building, The Cell is just a stone’s throw from City Hall, The Beam and ongoing developments including Maker & Faber, the new Eye Hospital, and the Vaux neighbourhood. It’s a really exciting location for new and established businesses to come and grow.”

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