GET HCM
magazine
Sign up for the FREE digital edition of HCM magazine and also get the HCM ezine and breaking news email alerts.
Not right now, thanksclose this window
Les Mills International
Les Mills International
Les Mills International
Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn Follow Health Club Management on Instagram
UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

Liverpool gyms take fight to the government as police officers issue fines to operators who don't comply with closure notices

"Dozens" of gyms in Liverpool, UK, have defied the government and stayed open for business – despite being ordered to shut their doors – with one operator visited by eight police officers and slapped with a £1,000 fine.

EmpoweredFit Gym in Wirrall and Body Tech Fitness in Moreton are among the gyms to have ignored the closing down orders, saying that the government have "got it wrong" by going against scientific evidence that gyms are safe.

A Gofundme page has been set up to help pay any fines and legal costs faced by Body Tech Fitness, which was visited today by eight armed police officers, who imposed an on the spot £1,000 fine.

Owner, Nick Whitcombe said: "'They were with us this morning, gave us our warning. Then came back this afternoon with orders from their top boss to issue a fine. They've told us 'close immediately' or I'll take a £1,000 fine.

"We still had quite a lot of members training and I said to the officers, 'I'm not asking anyone to leave. I'm going to let them finish their sessions first', so they issued the fine.

"First one's £1,000. They can come back in three hours and issue a £2,000 fine. Three hours after that £4,000.

"It's disappointing. They sent out seven or eight firearms officers, what a waste of resources."

In an video, posted last night (14 October), announcing his refusal to close the gym, Whitcombe said: 'We will not be closing our doors. We can't.

"If we close our facility we won't have one to come back to. There will be no business, there will be no gym, there will be no jobs."

He continued: 'We need to keep fighting and we need you to keep supporting us. We fight the good fight. Gyms need to stay open."

A statement on Body Tech Fitness' Gofundme page says: "The UK Government took it upon themselves to close gyms in the North West, despite the overwhelming evidence that gyms are not major spreaders of COVID-19.

"We are remaining open, despite the threat of fines and closure, we are going to fight this.

"We respected the last lockdown, although we financially suffered and only survived because of our amazing members.

"We are not staying open now for financial gain, but more for our members' mental and physical wellbeing.

"Gym’s should be supported in fighting COVID-19, obesity, mental health issues and many other conditions and diseases."

A Merseyside Police spokesperson said: 'We can confirm a gym in Moreton has been fined and ordered to close after opening despite the introduction of legislation prohibiting gyms from opening in the Liverpool City Region."

Elsewhere in the region, Chris Ellerby-Hemmings, the co-owner of EmpoweredFit gym in the Wirral, said in an Instagram post: "We will be remaining open, but we aren't doing it in an irresponsible manner, we're following all COVID-guidelines as we have all along.

"The reason we're doing this is to prove that gyms are a safe place to come and a safe place to train."

In a separate Facebook post, Ellerby-Hemmings said that "more than 50" gyms in Liverpool are on board with the action of remaining open, despite the closure orders.

"We (including the other 50+ gyms) will push for change. They can’t and won’t show us evidence to why gyms are being closed over sectors with MUCH higher infection rates," Ellerby-Hemmings said.

"We are safe and we are essential to our members' physical and mental wellbeing."

The government has come under fire from the fitness sector due to its confused and erratic approach to the new three-tier COVID-19 alert system.

As well as gyms and fitness studios fighting the measures, it is likely that the government will face legal challenges over its handling of the issue.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
"Dozens" of gyms in Liverpool, UK, have defied the government and stayed open for business – despite being ordered to shut their doors – with one operator visited by eight police officers and slapped with a £1,000 fine.
HAF,FIT,IND,PTS,PUB
2020/THUMB346432_569739_178851.jpg
Latest News
The pandemic has had an "unprecedented" impact on physical activity levels in England, with 1 ...
Latest News
The first énergie Fitness club has opened in Spain as part of a push for ...
Latest News
A global innovation competition has been launched to find ways to encourage and support more ...
Latest News
Xponential Fitness has acquired Body Fit Training in a deal worth US$44m. The deal takes ...
Latest News
Exercise has been highlighted as a crucial weapon in cancer patients’ battle against the disease. ...
Latest News
The global health and fitness industry is returning to a busy programme of live trade ...
Latest News
Matrix and Intelivideo have signed a strategic partnership, which will see Intelivideo's fitness content integrated ...
Latest News
Nadine Dorries, the recently appointed secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport at ...
HCM Magazine
Active ageing
If the fitness industry grew its membership base from the current 1% to 15% of members aged over 65, it would double in value and size
HCM Magazine
HCM People
Screens display power generated from each piece of equipment, allowing people to compete against each other for kilowatt hours produced
HCM Magazine
Interview
Gyms have a role to play in collaborating with the social prescribing movement to improve the nation’s health, the CEO of the UK’s National Academy of Social Prescribing tells Kate Cracknell
HCM Magazine
HCM People
Our vision is a future with ethnic diversity in aquatics
HCM Magazine
Insight
Research firm Qualtrics surveyed 12,157 consumers across 15 countries in seven languages to create the Les Mills 2021 Global Fitness Report, highlighting the ways consumers are choosing to work out as we emerge from the pandemic. Jak Phillips reports
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Les Mills is launching a new digital network called Les Mills Connect to help clubs build back better and emerge from the pandemic with a stronger business
HCM Magazine
Statistics
How have consumers responded to the end of lockdowns? Cesar Carvalho shares some bounceback numbers with HCM
HCM Magazine
HCM magazine
Our competition need to fasten their seatbelts
HCM magazine
Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – [email protected]
HCM magazine
As the UK government’s social prescribing initiative gains momentum, Kenny Butler calls on the sector to step up and get involved
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: EMS personal training: shockingly simple
People's fitness goals are extremely diverse – ranging from an elite athlete focused on the next goal to someone who dislikes all activity due to chronic back pain.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Uptivo: Individual and group heart rate tracking
Uptivo is an all-in-one digital solution for fitness clubs, fitness boutique studios and personal trainers that provides powerful tools to schedule activities, manage member payments, and monitor heart rate both for remote and on-site classes.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Being active helps Parkwood Leisure customers save the NHS £16m
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading public leisure facilities operators, helped prevent more than 7,000 cases of stroke, dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes in 2019, saving the NHS £16 million, a new social value report has shown.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Company profiles
Company profile: Parkwood Leisure
Parkwood Leisure is a family-owned leisure management company working with local authority partners across England ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Fitronics (CoursePro and TRP)
Fitronics is the company behind The Retention People (TRP) and CoursePro. We truly understand our ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Fitness equipment
Octane Fitness: Fitness equipment
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates

News

Liverpool gyms take fight to the government as police officers issue fines to operators who don't comply with closure notices

"Dozens" of gyms in Liverpool, UK, have defied the government and stayed open for business – despite being ordered to shut their doors – with one operator visited by eight police officers and slapped with a £1,000 fine.

EmpoweredFit Gym in Wirrall and Body Tech Fitness in Moreton are among the gyms to have ignored the closing down orders, saying that the government have "got it wrong" by going against scientific evidence that gyms are safe.

A Gofundme page has been set up to help pay any fines and legal costs faced by Body Tech Fitness, which was visited today by eight armed police officers, who imposed an on the spot £1,000 fine.

Owner, Nick Whitcombe said: "'They were with us this morning, gave us our warning. Then came back this afternoon with orders from their top boss to issue a fine. They've told us 'close immediately' or I'll take a £1,000 fine.

"We still had quite a lot of members training and I said to the officers, 'I'm not asking anyone to leave. I'm going to let them finish their sessions first', so they issued the fine.

"First one's £1,000. They can come back in three hours and issue a £2,000 fine. Three hours after that £4,000.

"It's disappointing. They sent out seven or eight firearms officers, what a waste of resources."

In an video, posted last night (14 October), announcing his refusal to close the gym, Whitcombe said: 'We will not be closing our doors. We can't.

"If we close our facility we won't have one to come back to. There will be no business, there will be no gym, there will be no jobs."

He continued: 'We need to keep fighting and we need you to keep supporting us. We fight the good fight. Gyms need to stay open."

A statement on Body Tech Fitness' Gofundme page says: "The UK Government took it upon themselves to close gyms in the North West, despite the overwhelming evidence that gyms are not major spreaders of COVID-19.

"We are remaining open, despite the threat of fines and closure, we are going to fight this.

"We respected the last lockdown, although we financially suffered and only survived because of our amazing members.

"We are not staying open now for financial gain, but more for our members' mental and physical wellbeing.

"Gym’s should be supported in fighting COVID-19, obesity, mental health issues and many other conditions and diseases."

A Merseyside Police spokesperson said: 'We can confirm a gym in Moreton has been fined and ordered to close after opening despite the introduction of legislation prohibiting gyms from opening in the Liverpool City Region."

Elsewhere in the region, Chris Ellerby-Hemmings, the co-owner of EmpoweredFit gym in the Wirral, said in an Instagram post: "We will be remaining open, but we aren't doing it in an irresponsible manner, we're following all COVID-guidelines as we have all along.

"The reason we're doing this is to prove that gyms are a safe place to come and a safe place to train."

In a separate Facebook post, Ellerby-Hemmings said that "more than 50" gyms in Liverpool are on board with the action of remaining open, despite the closure orders.

"We (including the other 50+ gyms) will push for change. They can’t and won’t show us evidence to why gyms are being closed over sectors with MUCH higher infection rates," Ellerby-Hemmings said.

"We are safe and we are essential to our members' physical and mental wellbeing."

The government has come under fire from the fitness sector due to its confused and erratic approach to the new three-tier COVID-19 alert system.

As well as gyms and fitness studios fighting the measures, it is likely that the government will face legal challenges over its handling of the issue.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
"Dozens" of gyms in Liverpool, UK, have defied the government and stayed open for business – despite being ordered to shut their doors – with one operator visited by eight police officers and slapped with a £1,000 fine.
HAF,FIT,IND,PTS,PUB
2020/THUMB346432_569739_178851.jpg

News

The pandemic has had an "unprecedented" impact on physical activity levels in England, with 1
The first énergie Fitness club has opened in Spain as part of a push for
A global innovation competition has been launched to find ways to encourage and support more
Xponential Fitness has acquired Body Fit Training in a deal worth US$44m. The deal takes
Exercise has been highlighted as a crucial weapon in cancer patients’ battle against the disease.
The global health and fitness industry is returning to a busy programme of live trade
FreeMotion Fitness
FreeMotion Fitness
Despite the Prime Minister’s claims that trade with the EU would be tariff-free post-Brexit, the
Matrix and Intelivideo have signed a strategic partnership, which will see Intelivideo's fitness content integrated
Nadine Dorries, the recently appointed secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport at
Mindbody has announced it's buying ClassPass, the consumer wellness subscription service that enables people to
Tanni Grey-Thompson has outlined her vision on how the physical activity sector can play "the
The Global Health & Fitness Alliance (GHFA) has revealed the makeup of its inaugural nine-member
The 40th Annual IHRSA International Convention & Trade Show (IHRSA 2021) begins today in Dallas,
Les Mills
Les Mills
People's fitness goals are extremely diverse – ranging from an elite athlete focused on the
A new study has suggested that strength training can result in people losing around a
Basic-Fit has officially opened its 1,000th club, with the launch of a new site in
Health club operator Life Time Group has become a publicly traded company again, after it
Creating workout experiences will be the main theme of this year's Retention Convention, which will
Marg Mayne will stand down as CEO of Mytime Active next year, after more than
French car manufacturer Citroën and hotel brand Pullman Hotels & Resorts have partnered to create
FIBO Exhibition
FIBO Exhibition
“At least 40 per cent of all businesses will die in the next 10 years
Les Mills is expanding its digital operations by replacing its existing on-demand services with the
Sport England has spent £1.5m launching its own on-demand fitness platform, with the hope of
Miha Bodytec GmbH
Miha Bodytec GmbH
1 - 20 of 12,051
HCM Magazine
Active ageing
If the fitness industry grew its membership base from the current 1% to 15% of members aged over 65, it would double in value and size
HCM Magazine
HCM People
Screens display power generated from each piece of equipment, allowing people to compete against each other for kilowatt hours produced
HCM Magazine
Interview
Gyms have a role to play in collaborating with the social prescribing movement to improve the nation’s health, the CEO of the UK’s National Academy of Social Prescribing tells Kate Cracknell
HCM Magazine
HCM People
Our vision is a future with ethnic diversity in aquatics
HCM Magazine
Insight
Research firm Qualtrics surveyed 12,157 consumers across 15 countries in seven languages to create the Les Mills 2021 Global Fitness Report, highlighting the ways consumers are choosing to work out as we emerge from the pandemic. Jak Phillips reports
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Les Mills is launching a new digital network called Les Mills Connect to help clubs build back better and emerge from the pandemic with a stronger business
HCM Magazine
Statistics
How have consumers responded to the end of lockdowns? Cesar Carvalho shares some bounceback numbers with HCM
HCM Magazine
HCM magazine
Our competition need to fasten their seatbelts
HCM magazine
Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – [email protected]
HCM magazine
As the UK government’s social prescribing initiative gains momentum, Kenny Butler calls on the sector to step up and get involved
HCM magazine
In this issue, we’re focusing on sharing insights and thought leadership to highlight opportunities for the development of the sector in terms of both markets and offerings, says Liz Terry, HCM editor
HCM magazine
In the last issue of HCM, we checked with big box operators in the UK to see how trading has been going since restrictions were lifted. This month we turn our attention to boutiques and urban studios to find out how they’re faring. Kath Hudson reports
HCM magazine
Focusing on dieting has failed to offset the rising tide of obesity, say researchers from the Universities of Arizona and Virginia. A focus on fitness gives better health outcomes
HCM magazine
Research confirms the role health clubs can play in supporting people in nurturing their mental health, as Victor Brick explains
HCM magazine
At TGOGC, we believe our own wellbeing is wrapped up in nature and the positive impact we can each have on the health of the planet
HCM magazine
This year’s edition of the IHRSA Global Report which addresses performance from 2020, is a valuable record of the tremendous impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the sector, creating a benchmark from which to understand the recovery. Kristen Walsh reports for HCM
HCM magazine
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: EMS personal training: shockingly simple
People's fitness goals are extremely diverse – ranging from an elite athlete focused on the next goal to someone who dislikes all activity due to chronic back pain.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Uptivo: Individual and group heart rate tracking
Uptivo is an all-in-one digital solution for fitness clubs, fitness boutique studios and personal trainers that provides powerful tools to schedule activities, manage member payments, and monitor heart rate both for remote and on-site classes.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Being active helps Parkwood Leisure customers save the NHS £16m
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading public leisure facilities operators, helped prevent more than 7,000 cases of stroke, dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes in 2019, saving the NHS £16 million, a new social value report has shown.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Company profiles
Company profile: Parkwood Leisure
Parkwood Leisure is a family-owned leisure management company working with local authority partners across England ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Fitronics (CoursePro and TRP)
Fitronics is the company behind The Retention People (TRP) and CoursePro. We truly understand our ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Fitness equipment
Octane Fitness: Fitness equipment
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
Les Mills International
Les Mills International