WILKO’S old unit in Bournemouth town centre remains empty more than a year after a gym announced plans to fill it.

The shop in Richmond Gardens Shopping Centre, off Old Christchurch Road, was supposed to be home to a JD Gyms “in early 2024”.

But bosses at the firm had previously announced intentions to open a gym “towards the end of 2023”.

The Echo has contacted JD Gyms multiple times asking for an opening date and whether it will be coming to Bournemouth town centre.

Yesterday, a spokeswoman refused to say whether it will still be opening or not. She said "details will be confirmed soon".

Through the gaps of the stickers on the windows which say ‘Coming soon – new exciting retailer’, the room remains an empty floor. Planning permission was given to the gym in November 2022.

Wilko closed in February 2022 and has been unoccupied since – helping to nudge the closure of budget supermarket Lidl in October that year.

Low footfall and issues with rent were cited for making both businesses unviable in their location.

In October 2022, the shopping centre’s owners Evolve Estates said they hope to make some “exciting announcements” soon about tenants coming to both the former Wilko site and the Lidl unit.

So far there has been nothing and since then, a jewellery shop has closed along with a salon which went elsewhere. However, a supplements store opened.