Gym firm eyes up dozens of new sites in Yorkshire

The Gym Group offers 50 to 60 classes a week including "bag exercise"
The Gym Group offers 50 to 60 classes a week including "bag exercise"
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The Gym Group is to target Yorkshire as a key area for expansion and it is eyeing up sites across the county.

The firm said it hopes to open dozens of sites in Yorkshire after it announced plans to beef up its presence in the North with the acquisition of 18 gyms from Lifestyle Fitness for £20.5m.

The deal includes two gyms in Yorkshire in Wakefield and Barnsley and the group said it is keen to find more sites in the county as it is currently under represented.

John Treharne, CEO of The Gym Group, said: "We are really keen to open more gyms in Yorkshire.

"We already have three sites in Leeds and we are about to open a site in Huddersfield.

"Yorkshire is a key area for us. We are looking at opening sites in big cities like Harrogate and York. Our ideal is a city location with 50,000 people or more within a 10 minute drive time."

He said the plan in bigger cities like Leeds is to open a number of different sites so people have gyms near where they work and where they live.

"We plan to open more gyms in Leeds. We could have eight to 10 sites in Leeds," he added.

"We are under represented in Yorkshire. That's why it's a focus."

Each gym is typically 15,000 to 16,000 sq ft and has 200 pieces of gym equipment and 50 to 60 classes a week.

"It's a no-frills offering," said Mr Treharne.

"We offer really good gym equipment and the gyms are open 24/7. The average price is £17 per month which is amazingly good value and there's no membership contract.

"You can join for a day or a month or for as long as it suits you. Over 35 per cent of our members have never been to a gym before."

He was speaking as the group said its acquisition of 18 gyms from Lifestyle Fitness is expected to complete on September 29.

The Gym Group has grown rapidly since the opening of its first site in 2008 and has become the second largest player in the low cost gym market. It expects to open 20 new sites under its organic roll out programme in 2017, having opened 15 new sites in 2016 and 19 new sites in 2015.

“Lifestyle is an excellent and complementary fit with our existing estate," said Mr Treharne.

"These are well invested gyms in strong locations with an established membership. The acquisition strengthens The Gym Group’s position in the Midlands and North in areas where we are currently underrepresented and accelerates our expansion plan. The addition of these gyms is anticipated to be significantly earnings enhancing by 2019.”