Council Approve Stirchley Fitness First and Bowling Demolition | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Council Approve Stirchley Fitness First and Bowling Demolition

Emily Youlton reports on Birmingham City Council granting permission to demolish Stirchley's Fitness First and PSL bowling

Birmingham City Council has ignored public opinion by allowing plans for a new Lidl, on the Stirchley site of Fitness First and PSL bowling, to go ahead. Despite a petition gaining over 2,250 signatures public opinion was ignored in favour of the supermarket giant.

The application was approved on February 9th 2017 meaning that these local facilities will be demolished to make way for a new Lidl. This news has fueled considerable feelings of anger from the general public and especially from local students who are regular gym users. Despite the gym facilities seeing major success and popularity amid a national obesity crisis, the City Council have pushed ahead with the redevelopment of the land.

Fitness First, which has around 3,500 members, is popular among students because of its proximity to Selly Oak and the availability of facilities at affordable rates. Questions have now been raised as to whether the opening of the 360 Sports Centre at the University of Birmingham will be able to cope with a potential influx of new members. This doesn't look hopeful with some sources suggesting that the gym is already at full membership capacity before even opening.

Another serious consideration for students is the cost. Fitness First offers a monthly payments facility allowing students to be flexible with their budgets and fitness routines whereas the new sports centre only offers one-off yearly payments. This huge financial commitment for students could deter their use of facilities.

Despite this closure there are still a number of fitness facilities in the surrounding areas:

PureGym Birmingham City Centre -

Anytime Fitness -

Ultimate Fitness -

Simon King Fitness Personal Training -

Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Gym -

English Language Student. News and Comment Writer (@EmilyJYoulton)


15th February 2017 at 10:00 am

Last Updated

15th February 2017 at 12:31 am

Images from

Francis Clarke