A FORMER gym could become a listed building with an assessment of the site due to take place.

The former Samson’s Gym in Chamberlayne Road, Eastleigh, could become a listed building after Historic England confirmed it will conduct a full assessment of the site.

The building started life as one of the town’s three dairies and later became Samson’s Gym, which closed after its owner was involved in a kidnapping scandal in 2018.

Demolition of the building has been approved by Eastleigh Borough Council with webinars set up to discuss proposals for a new development, but now an application for listing is being considered.

A Historic England spokesperson confirmed: “We have received an application asking us to consider the buildings for listing. The application was first made in March 2020, at which time it was rejected because there was no substantial threat.

“The case was re-opened in December 2020, because of the threat of demolition. After careful consideration, the case has now been taken to full assessment.”

The Government department says it will be making a recommendation to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, after which a decision will be made.

Eastleigh Borough Council has confirmed they are aware of the application.

A council spokesperson said: “Historic England has informed us that they have received a request asking them to review the former Samson’s Gym building, we will of course assist Heritage England with any information they need.”

Sam Jordan, an Eastleigh Labour campaigner said he is in support of the attempt to list the building.

He said: “This is a building that’s been here longer than the airport. It might look hideous at the moment but this is an old building with a lot of history and it would be a shame to smash it up.”

Gym Improvement Group (GIG), a community group that was started after the building was confirmed for demolition, also welcomed the news.

GIG spokesperson, Bob Everett, said: “The fact that Historic England is considering listing Samson’s Gym is an unexpected development, but a welcome and extremely encouraging one.”