Young Exmouth business owner reveals plans to transform historical church into CrossFit gym

PUBLISHED: 11:00 30 October 2019 | UPDATED: 19:00 30 October 2019

(L-R) Lee Soloman, Shaun Spring and Brian Male outside Tower Street Methodist Church. Picture: Callum Lawton

(L-R) Lee Soloman, Shaun Spring and Brian Male outside Tower Street Methodist Church. Picture: Callum Lawton

Archant

The man behind a new gym being set up in a redundant Exmouth church is a young business owner who already runs a newsagent in the town.

Shaun Spring, owner of Cabin News, hopes to get his venture up and running by the New Year, after a change of use application for Tower Street Methodist Church was approved by district planners.

The 22-year-old, who has owned Cabin News for a year, revealed the gym will solely be offering CrossFit classes, initially led by four trainers.

Mr Spring said he chose the church because it's 'awesome' and offers a 'really good space'.

He said: "This is a big open space that works perfectly.

"Exmouth does not have an Olympic lifting facility and that is what this is going to be.

"We plan to work very closely with primary schools and the community college as well - getting the kids down after school to do CrossFit.

"There will be a lot more people coming through here than there were previously."

As the church is Grade II listed, no interior alterations can be made.

Mr Spring said the gym, which is yet to be named, will comprise free-standing equipment, and flooring will be put down.

He said: "CrossFit is known for its minimal equipment and professional coaching."

Up to seven jobs could be created in the long run, Mr Spring said.

The church is owned by Lee Soloman and Brian Male.

Mr Soloman revealed there was a lot of interest in the church, with enquiries lodged daily, but the pair wanted a community-centred venture to take the building on.

He said: "We were looking for the right tenant. This ticks all boxes for this building and for Exmouth.

"It keeps the church alive and fresh. Even if you are not a CrossFit person, you have the beauty of the building here, without it becoming anything detrimental."

Mr Male, who also owns the Noodle Bowl on Exmouth Parade, added: "Between the three of us, we will keep the church preserved for many years to come."

Tower Street Methodist Church is still open for purchasing Christmas cards.

Cards for Good Causes are selling festive wares in the main foyer of the church.

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