Yorkshire takes crown at North of England EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards

THE FOUNDER of Yorkshire-based Pure Gym was last night crowned North of England EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 at a glittering ceremony in Manchester.

Peter Roberts, executive chairman at Pure Gym

Executive chairman Peter Roberts was praised by judges for taking a traditional model and “turning it upside down”.

The panel said his clear strategy helped Pure Gym to become “the number one player” by membership in the UK gym market.

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His victory means that he will represent Yorkshire and the North of England at the UK Entrepreneur of the Year finals in London later this year.

Mr Roberts, who lives in North Yorkshire, founded the company in 2009 with sites in Leeds, Manchester, Wolverhampton and Edinburgh.

In 2013, private equity firm CCMP Capital Advisors bought a majority stake in the business, which now has more than 520,000 members.

Last month, Pure Gym snapped up older mid-market rival LA Fitness, picking up 43 clubs for an undisclosed sum thought to be in the range of £60-80m.

Catherine Reid, who leads the Entrepreneur of the Year programme in Yorkshire for accountancy firm EY, said: “Peter’s clear long-term strategy has been the driving force behind Pure Gym’s phenomenal rise to the top of the competitive UK gym market and the company is ideally positioned for further expansion over the coming years.”

Mr Roberts was previously chief executive of hotel group Golden Tulip UK which was sold to Whitbread in 2007 for £45m. He is also a former director of Luminar Leisure and Dragons Health Clubs.

He was educated at Rugby School and studied at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester. Speaking to The Yorkshire Post in 2010, he said: “We probably benefited from launching in a slowdown but I don’t think it will change when it (the economy) bounces back. Look at low-cost firms like Easyjet and Primark – they have become a way of life. We charge less but want to run the business well, or people will leave.”

Underlying profits at Pure Gym rose to £22.6m last year, compared with £14.3m in 2013, on revenues that increased by almost 50 per cent to £68.6m.

Meanwhile, Paul Teasdale, chief executive at Castleford-based Premier Technical Services Group (PTSG), took home the listed business award at the Manchester ceremony.

Judges described Mr Teasdale as “an outstanding individual who is driven and ambitious with great people around him”. They went on to say that PTSG, which listed on AIM earlier this year, has a “compelling proposition”.

The company is a leading provider of access and safety services in the UK, a specialist in the design, installation and testing of electrical systems, and also carries out cleaning services.

The group has 10 operational bases around the UK and a distribution centre in Castleford.

Held at the Lowry Hotel in Manchester and hosted by BBC Breakfast’s Steph McGovern, the awards dinner honoured nine business leaders across 10 categories. Each of the winners was judged and selected from finalists leading 36 companies from across the North West, Yorkshire and North East. All of the North of England winners will go on to represent the region at the UK finals in October. THE FOUNDER of Yorkshire-based Pure Gym was last night crowned North of England EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 at a glittering ceremony in Manchester.

Executive chairman Peter Roberts was praised by judges for taking a traditional model and “turning it upside down”.

The panel said his clear strategy helped Pure Gym to become “the number one player” by membership in the UK gym market.

His victory means that he will represent Yorkshire and the North of England at the UK Entrepreneur of the Year finals in London later this year.

Mr Roberts, who lives in North Yorkshire, founded the company in 2009 with sites in Leeds, Manchester, Wolverhampton and Edinburgh.

In 2013, private equity firm CCMP Capital Advisors bought a majority stake in the business, which now has more than 520,000 members.

Last month, Pure Gym snapped up older mid-market rival LA Fitness, picking up 43 clubs for an undisclosed sum thought to be in the range of £60-80m.

Catherine Reid, who leads the Entrepreneur of the Year programme in Yorkshire for accountancy firm EY, said: “Peter’s clear long-term strategy has been the driving force behind Pure Gym’s phenomenal rise to the top of the competitive UK gym market and the company is ideally positioned for further expansion over the coming years.”

Mr Roberts was previously chief executive of hotel group Golden Tulip UK which was sold to Whitbread in 2007 for £45m. He is also a former director of Luminar Leisure and Dragons Health Clubs.

He was educated at Rugby School and studied at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester. Speaking to The Yorkshire Post in 2010, he said: “We probably benefited from launching in a slowdown but I don’t think it will change when it (the economy) bounces back. Look at low-cost firms like Easyjet and Primark – they have become a way of life. We charge less but want to run the business well, or people will leave.”

Underlying profits at Pure Gym rose to £22.6m last year, compared with £14.3m in 2013, on revenues that increased by almost 50 per cent to £68.6m.

Meanwhile, Paul Teasdale, chief executive at Castleford-based Premier Technical Services Group (PTSG), took home the listed business award at the Manchester ceremony.

Judges described Mr Teasdale as “an outstanding individual who is driven and ambitious with great people around him”. They went on to say that PTSG, which listed on AIM earlier this year, has a “compelling proposition”.

The company is a leading provider of access and safety services in the UK, a specialist in the design, installation and testing of electrical systems, and also carries out cleaning services.

The group has 10 operational bases around the UK and a distribution centre in Castleford.

Held at the Lowry Hotel in Manchester and hosted by BBC Breakfast’s Steph McGovern, the awards dinner honoured nine business leaders across 10 categories. Each of the winners was judged and selected from finalists leading 36 companies from across the North West, Yorkshire and North East. All of the North of England winners will go on to represent the region at the UK finals in October.