A new gym has been set up as part of the transformation of a city’s one-time police headquarters.

The Cell has opened at Sunderland’s former Gilbridge Police Station, offering what its creators describe as "a unique take on fitness and well-being".

Created by business partners Holly McBride-Donaldson, Jennie Moyse and Brent Gilpin, the class-based gym is in the basement of the former city police base, which is now a modern office block named The Yard.

The Cell offers more than 25 expert-led fitness classes each week including spinning sessions, boot camps, plus yoga and pilates tutorials.

The Northern Echo: Business partners Brent Gilpin, left, and Holly McBride-Donaldson taking a spin on the static bikes

It also stages “express” lunchtime sessions, ideal for those working in and around the developing Riverside quarter, on the former Vaux Breweries site.

The two female entrepreneurs involved in The Cell also run Club Zest together, an award-winning women-only gym, on Sea Road in Fulwell, Sunderland, where their new business partner, Mr Gilpin, has a successful physio business, Finding Function.

The trio wanted to launch a new venture taking an holistic approach to fitness, incorporating classes and workshops aimed at, “re-framing the ideals of physicality and working towards overall wellness”.

Ms McBride-Donaldson said: “We’re so excited to have opened The Yard and in the city centre where so much exciting development is taking place.

“The Cell is inclusive of all genders, and we offer bespoke fitness classes for people who want to reconnect and be part of a friendly community that champions one another.

“We also have Brent offering physio treatments, sports massages and wellness support, and there will be a variety of workshops available to attend on the weekends.”

Described as, “the boutique health and fitness hub”, commercial memberships are available for businesses based in the city to support a healthier workforce and enabling colleagues to access classes together.

As a starter offer, businesses signing up with more than 20 employees, will receive two free sessions in wellness and stress management per year.

“We all know that good fitness and wellness can help to reduce stress and boost mood, which is why we want to encourage local businesses to support employees to get involved with The Cell and our flexible classes throughout the day,” added Ms McBride-Donaldson.

The Cell is being supported by Sunderland City Council’s Business Investment Team.

Councillor Kevin Johnston, Sunderland City Council cabinet member for what is termed ‘Dynamic City’, said: “The Cell is perfectly located to support the health and wellbeing of the growing workforce at Riverside Sunderland.

“Given the work the team already do at Club Zest, I’m confident they will make a real positive difference to our transforming city centre.

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“As well as being based in a fantastic new office building, The Cell is just a stone’s throw from City Hall, The Beam and ongoing developments including Maker & Faber, the new Eye Hospital, and the Vaux neighbourhood.

“It’s a really exciting location for new and established businesses to come and grow.”

Further information about Sunderland’s business opportunities is available via: https://www.mysunderland.co.uk/business-and-investment, highlighting new and existing ventures springing up in the city.