January 5, 2022 4.37 pm This story is over 29 months old

Grimsby gymnastics academy flips into expansion

Academy sticks the landing as big expansion approved

A gymnastics academy has backflipped its way into a large new centre which will allow it to double the number of coaches.

Councillors said they would be “mad to refuse” plans for Twist & Flip Gymnastics Academy to open the new premises in Grimsby.

The expansion will enable more young people to take part in the growing sport.

The empty industrial unit on King Edward Street was previous the Doric Anderton premises.

There was enthusiastic support for the proposal in the North East Lincolnshire Council planning meeting, with one member revealing a secret past in the sport.

Councillor David Hudson told the committee: “Don’t laugh but I was a gymnast as a boy.

“My own son wanted to do gymnastics and we found it very difficult to find a place.

“It is good to encourage more businesses like this, and we would be mad to refuse it.”

Councillor Janet Goodwin agreed, saying: “This is a good thing considering the amount of people on waiting lists for gymnastics.

“There has been concern over competition between academies, but people can vote with their feet – if they don’t like it, they can go elsewhere.”

Business owners Nicky and Mark Nicol said they were looking forward to expanding the business.

“When we started Twist & Flip ten years ago, we wanted to allow as many people into the sport as possible. Support for it at the time was very poor in the town,” Mark said.

“As we are currently sharing our space, we often have to pack away equipment and can’t always use it. We’ve seen through the pandemic how important continuity is to children’s health and wellbeing.

“This plan offers so many opportunities for our business and the community. We want to be part of the council’s plans to help the town centre’s economy. Parents dropping their kids off will shop, eat and drink in the area.

“Parking is seen to be an issue, but this will be resolved – competitions will only be held on Sundays, and parents will be directed towards local pay and display car parks.

“We know we wouldn’t be the only gymnastics academy on King Edward Street, but competition is healthy – there isn’t just one clothes shop on the high street.”

Twist & Flip currently employ five coaches and five young employees, but said in the application that they hope to double this.

The new premises will also give them the freedom to offer more consistent sessions to a larger number of people who enjoy the sport.