NORTH Petherton Rugby Club is set to be home to a new community gym, after landing a £300,000 grant to make the project a reality.

Over the last few years, North Petherton Rugby Club has been working on plans to provide a multi-use community building that promotes health and wellbeing by having a new gym, changing facilities and two additional rooms which can be rented.

The project, which will cost a total of £429,000, also has received backing from the Somerset Activity and Sport Partnership (SASP).

A bid was submitted to the EDF Community Impact Mitigation (CIM) fund, administered by West Somerset Council, as two large caravan sites either side of the rugby club are hosting Hinkley C workers.

The housing and caravan parks have few facilities, and it is hoped the community gym will reduce the need for workers to travel into Bridgwater to use similar gym facilities, and that the new gym will also help the workers integrate better into the community.

Lisa Redston, who is the EDF CIM fund manager for West Somerset Council, said: "This project could significantly improve the quality of life for its service users in terms of promoting active lifestyles, providing links to wider community activities and groups, reducing the need to access similar facilities in congested traffic, promoting a cohesive community and creating employment opportunities.

"GP referral schemes for gym use and physiotherapy will also provide benefits in terms of health and wellbeing."

The gym is expect to be able to benefit more than 200 people a year, and the new changing rooms will be used by people attending clubs, fitness classes and those involved in rugby.

The gym will be available for North Petherton residents as well as HPC workers.

Mrs Redston added: "The applicants have planned energy efficiency and reduction of carbon footprint into the design and operation of the facilities.

"The current facilities are well supported and used by the local community. Letters of support were provided by the applicants from various community representatives."