FEARS are mounting that a proposed 'mega gym' in Greenock may not open after the company behind the plans went bust.

In January last year the Tele revealed that Leeds-based fitness company Xercise4Less was preparing to open its first centre in Inverclyde at the Waterfromt Retail Park in Greenock.

They signed a deal to take over the former Carpetright store, with a 'change of use' plan also involving taking over part of the unit formerly occupied by Bensons for Beds

But the owners of Xercise4Less last week called in administrators PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), throwing the project into doubt.

Accountants at PwC have sold Xercise4Less of to JD Sports Gyms Ltd (JDG) and say that all existing employees have transferred across to the new business.

A total of 50 gyms are included in the sale - but the fate of the Greenock fitness centre still hangs in the balance as it had not opened.

The Tele approached JDG several times for comment on the Greenock site but did not receive a response about it.

Alun Peacock, managing director of JDG, said: "We are delighted to have completed this acquisition which enhances our position in the highly competitive gym market and which will ensure the continued employment of many hundreds of people.

"We look forward to re-opening the gyms and welcoming our new colleagues and members, over the coming weeks.”

Xercise4Less had confirmed plans for an Inverclyde gym and advertised the facility on their website.

They said the centre would boast 400 pieces of equipment, studios, a ladies-only area and a running track.

The link to the Greenock site is still active on the website and membership options are available.

PwC said that the sale of Xercise4Less follows increasing financial difficulties.

Toby Underwood, joint administrator, said: "The businesses had been facing financial difficulties caused by an increasingly competitive market, which was exacerbated by Covid-19.

"Following our appointment, we immediately completed a sales process that had been running for some time.

"This sale puts the ongoing business on a firmer financial footing and JDG will be working with the existing team to continue to grow and develop the new business.

"We are delighted that, in these extremely challenging circumstances, all employees have transferred to the purchaser."