New gym set to open at town's business park

Paul Booth and Kylie Blaver in their new business, Sanctuary Gym, where work is under way at the De

Paul Booth and Kylie Blaver in their new business, Sanctuary Gym, where work is under way at the Dereham Business Hub - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The owners of a new gym say they are itching to get started ahead of the business opening its doors. 

Sanctuary, which is set to specialise in bodybuilding, had been due to open at Dereham Business Hub in January. 

But the plans were foiled by coronavirus restrictions, forcing business partners, Paul Booth and Kylie Blaver, to bide their time. 

The sign for the new business, Sanctuary Gym, at the Dereham Business Hub

Sanctuary Gym is set to open at Dereham Business Hub in mid-November - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The couple, who compete in competitions across the country, hope to finally begin welcoming members from mid-November.

Mr Booth, who used to be a professional cyclist and took up bodybuilding in his early-20s, is fresh from running his own gym in Manchester for the last 13 years. 

While Dereham and the wider area already has several gyms, the 51-year-old hopes to bring something unique to the town. 

"I've looked at the gyms in the area and I can see what it's missing," added Mr Booth.

Paul Booth and Kylie Blaver in their new business, Sanctuary Gym, located at Dereham Business Hub

Paul Booth and Kylie Blaver at their new business, Sanctuary Gym, located at Dereham Business Hub - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

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"There is a distinct lack of high-quality bodybuilding facilities. Where we have trained in Norfolk, the kit is very limited. 

"We're going to have here the best equipment you can possibly get. Anybody that knows their kit will realise that as soon as they come in. 

"People are looking at our Instagram and saying 'oh my god Norfolk has needed this forever.'"

While bodybuilding will undoubtedly be Sanctuary's strong suit, there is an emphasis on everyone - no matter their size or experience - being welcome.

Sanctuary Gym could open in Dereham as soon as mid-November once building work is completed 

Sanctuary Gym could open in Dereham as soon as mid-November once building work is completed - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Once building work has been completed, the gym will be open for 24 hours a day courtesy of a magnetic lock system and fingerprint scanner. 

There will also be a special seating area where older children can wait while their parents train.

Miss Blaver, who works as a paramedic, took up bodybuilding after having a hip replacement due to an accident she suffered at work.

Her rehab turned into a love for training and desire to improve her physique. 

The new gym is located at Dereham Business Hub

The new gym is located at Dereham Business Hub - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

The 44-year-old said: "This started off as pipedream, but then we thought 'why can't we?'

"We can't wait to see people training here with the same passion we have for bodybuilding.

"This will be a is a friendly, welcoming place for anyone. You might have your bodybuilder, but you might also have your average Joe."

Mr Booth added: "We're excited, scared, stressed - all those things at once."

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