Wednesday 12 June 2024
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Nottingham gym forced to close after 40 years to give final week’s revenue to charity

A Nottingham gym which has been forced to close having looked after the health and wellbeing of its members for over 40 years is raising major funds for the local charity, Emmanuel House.

Castle Gym will be donating the price of visits, memberships and “legacy merchandise” for its final week of operation to the charity, with members and guests invited to support their work via the gym, as owner Luke Willmott and his team prepare to shut its doors at the end of the month.

The closure follows a running battle over the future of the site, with Luke Willmott confirming that the doors of the iconic facility will open for the last time at the end of the month.

‘It’s no secret that we have been forced to leave and sadly, we are going.

‘It is hugely painful to us all as we’ve got a huge history here and we are a major hub for so many people but just down the road from us and indeed across the city, are people who do not have any home.

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‘The work the team at Emmanuel House do is crucial for so many people. We may be losing our home but we can still try to do something positive, even throughout this painful process, by passing our fees and merchandise income over to these guys to support their incredible work.

‘I’ve just been to see their Winter Shelter which has re-opened on University Park where they can offer short-term emergency accommodation for up to 27 people per night. It is a fantastic facility, using space that would otherwise be vacant but it will cost them circa £1000 to run it every night. Our aim throughout our final month here at Castle Gym is to raise enough to support them for at least a day.’

Emmanuel House is an independent charity that supports people who are homeless, rough sleeping, in crisis, or at risk of homelessness in Nottingham.

The Winter Shelter offers 24-hour access, which allows support work to continue during the day as guests are helped to find work, long-term accommodation, access to other services and three meals a day.

•  Emmanuel House reopens 24-hour Winter Shelter at University Park

Lauren Howatson, marketing and fundraising officer said;

‘With no statutory funding for our core services, we rely on donations from individuals, schools, fundraising and businesses like Castle Gym to continue providing much needed support and services to the homeless and vulnerably housed in Nottingham.


‘We know Luke and the gym team from past funding activities they have partnered with us on and we were delighted when he got in touch to see if they could help us again. It is most generous that at a time when they are sadly set to close their doors for the final time, they are helping us to open ours once again.’


Whilst it is still open to members and guests, Castle Gym will close at the end of November. Income from the final week will then be collated and passed to Emmanuele House via a donation.

  •  Plans for £2 million transformation of Emmanuel House

Luke concludes;


‘If this is to be the final month and last days for this historic place, let’s at least do something that provides hope for the future for other people here in Nottingham. It is all too easy when running a business to have a narrow focus on the day-to-day. Sometimes you need to look up and around you and help where you can.’

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