FITNESS fans in Salisbury are set to get a new outdoor gym.

Salisbury City Council’s services committee voted to approve plans for new equipment to be put in Churchill Gardens, giving the community another reason to get outdoors and get fitter and healthier in a fun, social way.

The decision to look at creating an outdoor gym came after interest from members of the public, council officers and councillors.

Figures show the life expectancy for men and women is lower in Salisbury than anywhere else in Wiltshire and, when it comes to health, the Salisbury community area is ranked as the most deprived in all of Wiltshire.

Salisbury also has the highest level of mortality from cardiovascular diseases across the 20 community areas and it’s hoped offering an inexpensive service which is available all year round will encourage people to be more active.

The committee considered three possible sites before deciding on Churchill Gardens, which has plenty of parking and offers the possibility of adding to the existing walking/running routes in the park.

Wiltshire Council has already approved £11,000 of funding. The outdoor gym will provide a range of equipment that will allow people to tailor workouts to their own abilities and confidence levels. The equipment could include cardiovascular pieces like cross trainers and strength and mobility items like leg press machines, rowing machines and ski trainers.

Parks manager Chris Stringer said Salisbury is one of the few cities that doesn’t have one of these facilities and outdoor gyms have proved popular elsewhere in the country. They will now decide what type of equipment is best suited to the gardens and hope to have the outdoor gym open by the end of the summer at the latest.

• The committee also approved the idea of the city council organising a Sport and Arts Fair next summer.

Councillor Tom Corbin proposed the idea to encourage children away from their computer consoles and into sport, hobby and social clubs.

Officers will now develop the proposal into a detailed project plan.