Co-op is working with anti-knife-crime organisation Steel Warriors to set up community spaces with equipment made using steel from knives that have been taken off the street, melted down and recycled.
A total of 20 gyms are expected to be built across the UK, with two planned for this year. They will offer sessions with gym instructors, provide training and share skills, and aim to improve physical and mental well-being in communities.
The gym equipment promotes a fitness technique known as calisthenics, which uses bodyweight for resistance through pulling, pushing, bending, jumping or swinging actions.
Co-op is also supporting Steel Warriors by providing a trainer at each gym to run sessions for different abilities every week.
The initiative follows Co-op’s move to stop selling single-pack knives in its stores. The partnership will be followed by Co-op's new ad campaign, which highlights its growing investment in community projects.
Steve Murrells, chief executive of Co-op, said: "It’s what we should do as a responsible retailer. It was right to remove the sale of single knives and we’re committed to help strengthen communities and provide opportunities. This will give access to free outdoor fitness equipment to those youngsters who can’t afford gyms with costly fees."