A £146,000 portable fitness facility is to tour Cumbria offering exercise sessions to communities across the county.

iCan Health and Fitness is to launch its Wheels of Wellness facility in spring, after securing a £119,000 grant to fund the project from Sport England.

The public body has agreed to fund most of the initial cost of the project, which the directors of the Carlisle gym hope will help change the fitness offering of the county and help tackle inactivity and obesity.

“The facility has been developed by the community,” explained Lisa Dykes, 32, one of the three iCan managing directors.

“Last year we visited six rural communities in Cumbria, challenging people to exercise in their local communities.

“We found there was a problem getting access to gym facilities – maybe it was too far to travel, they couldn’t afford to go to regular gym classes, or they wanted to exercise as a family.

“They said that the facilities they have are great but they are not suitable for everyone.”

iCan hopes to provide a facility where all members of the family can exercise together.

“At the moment there is nothing out there like that,” continued Lisa.

“You might have a football group for a young boy, zumba for a mum, a sit-down and steps station for grandma. With this facility it will be accessible for all.”

The project is two years in the making.

“On board the bus will be three different coaches, 20 iCan trampolines and one accessible bouncer. This can be used by someone in a wheelchair, meaning they can do the same activities as someone who is able-bodied.

“The wheelchair will be lifted onto the platform, obviously it must be strapped, and the platform and wheelchair bounce up and down, enough to feel like you are on a trampoline.

“Even if they are paralysed from the waist down, they can still do the arm exercises.”

The gym will spend six weeks in each local community, before it then moves on to its next location.