AN award-winning gym has pledged to create 40 new jobs when it opens in Burnley town centre.

Xercise4Less, which has 18 venues across Britain, will open in Kingsway House, formerly home to the ShopDirect call centre, on May 30.

Bosses at the chain branded the launch of its first East Lancashire site as ‘very exciting’.

The gym was granted planning permission in March to use the ground floor and part of the first floor of the old GUS site, in Kingsway.

The 37,000 square foot site had previously been earmarked as part of a ‘student village’ linked to Burnley UCLan campus.

The firm said it would bring ‘high quality, budget facilities’ to the town.

Operations manager Antony Kimmins, formerly a general manager for a charity in Chorley, said: “I have lots of managerial experience and I really enjoyed my previous role, but I saw managing Xercise4Less as a great opportunity broaden my horizons and apply my skills into the leisure industry.

“To be given the chance to run an entire gym and manage all of its facilities is really exciting for me. It’s a challenge that I’m ready to take on and I can’t wait to welcome new members through our doors.”

Xercise4Less’ chief executive officer, Jon Wright, said he had set out to create 'The People's Gym'.

Mr Wright said: “We’re here to ensure people of all ages, and fitness levels, can benefit from great facilities, with cost not being a barrier. “The fitness industry has become very greedy and there’s no need to charge members sky high prices - a good gym can be run very economically.

“We’re excited about our further expansion in the South of the UK and will continue to extend our services over time to suit the needs of all our members.”

The gym, which includes a ladies-only area, is currently recruiting staff including a membership manager, a membership team, a housekeeping team, personal trainers and freelance fitness instructors