Part of former Peter Crisp building in Rushden to be turned into 24-hour gym

Peter Crisp in Rushden back in 2009
Peter Crisp in Rushden back in 2009

A section of a former department store which has stood empty for several years is set to be turned into a 24-hour gym.

Anytime Fitness has been given planning permission to change the use of two vacant groundfloor units of the Peter Crisp building in Church Street, Rushden, from retail to a gym which will be open 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

Anytime Fitness is a franchise which has more than 2,300 clubs worldwide including 61 in the UK and it has said the new gym will create eight jobs, with four full-time positions and four part-time roles.

The building used to be the home of Peter Crisp, a store which first opened in the High Street in 1959 before expanding and taking over much of the corner of High Street and Church Street.

But after celebrating 50 years in business, the department store closed in 2009 with just the kitchen and bathroom design studio remaining open.

Documents submitted as part of the planning application, which was approved by East Northamptonshire Council earlier this week, stated: “The proposed gymnasium use provides an opportunity to utilise a vacant unit in a highly sustainable and accessible location, providing employment opportunities and and health benefits to the local community.

“The use would help diversify the town centre, whilst also complementing the existing mix of uses.

“Furthermore, it has been demonstrated that the proposal would not cause any adverse impact upon the amenity of neighbouring occupiers.”

The building fronts onto Church Street but vehicle access will be from Wellingborough Road.

The gym will have access to 30 shared car parking spaces to the rear of the site, although public transport can also be accessed from the town centre site.

Data from other Anytime Fitness gyms already in operation suggest the expected peak periods will be 6am to 8am and 5pm to 9pm on weekdays.

It is not known when the new gym will open but to see the plans for the site in full, search for 15/02070/FUL on the planning section of