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FIBO Exhibition
FIBO Exhibition
FIBO Exhibition
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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

Put health clubs at the heart of our high streets, says gym boss

The boss of the UK’s only listed gym chain has called on planning authorities to reconsider the role that gyms have to play in creating healthier and resurgent high streets.

The Gym Group CEO John Treharne told Health Club Management that fitness operators can bring huge benefits in terms of employment, footfall and health, at a time when many of the the country’s high street businesses are struggling to survive.

“It’s a slow process, but planning authorities should be considering the benefit to local people from more gyms on the high street,” said Treharne, who added that each Gym Group site brings around 20 jobs when you include personal trainers.

“The bulk of our members come from within five minutes of our sites and particularly where some high streets need regeneration, the fact that we drive high footfall to our sites brings added benefits to other businesses in the same location.”

Treharne’s comments reflect the sentiments of many health club operators, who have found that obtaining suitable properties is one of the biggest barriers to expansion. Site acquisition has been a perennial issue for operators – particularly in London – due to exorbitant property prices and cumbersome planning laws.

Under England’s planning use classes framework – which hasn’t been updated since 1987 – gyms and leisure centres can only occupy buildings designated under the ‘Class D2’ category, whereas shops retail outlets sit in the far more abundant ‘Class A1’ category of building.

One outspoken critic of planning laws has been Barry’s Bootcamp UK co-owner Sandy Macaskill, who believes England’s "outdated" town planning laws fail to take into account how fitness businesses have evolved since the 1980s towards a more service-focused offering similar to other A1-classed businesses, such as hairdressers.

“We’ve still got the major hurdle of planning committees frequently blocking applications to convert A1 spaces into fitness studios,” Macaskill told Health Club Management recently, revealing that his efforts to find a third London location for his boutique chain have been frustrated by council planning committees.

“It’s as if the 2012 Olympic legacy didn’t even happen – councils are telling everyone to be more active but then they don’t want to see fitness studios on the high street.”

“It’s definitely something that needs to be addressed,” Macaskill added. “We’ve won the landlords over in terms of the benefits that fitness businesses can offer. Now it’s time for the government to make good on its calls for us to do more exercise, by supporting the businesses trying to make this happen.”

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The boss of the UK’s only listed gym chain has called on planning authorities to reconsider the role that gyms have to play in creating healthier and resurgent high streets.
HAF,FIT,IND,PHR,PTS,LCT
THUMB7842_939387.jpg
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News

Put health clubs at the heart of our high streets, says gym boss

The boss of the UK’s only listed gym chain has called on planning authorities to reconsider the role that gyms have to play in creating healthier and resurgent high streets.

The Gym Group CEO John Treharne told Health Club Management that fitness operators can bring huge benefits in terms of employment, footfall and health, at a time when many of the the country’s high street businesses are struggling to survive.

“It’s a slow process, but planning authorities should be considering the benefit to local people from more gyms on the high street,” said Treharne, who added that each Gym Group site brings around 20 jobs when you include personal trainers.

“The bulk of our members come from within five minutes of our sites and particularly where some high streets need regeneration, the fact that we drive high footfall to our sites brings added benefits to other businesses in the same location.”

Treharne’s comments reflect the sentiments of many health club operators, who have found that obtaining suitable properties is one of the biggest barriers to expansion. Site acquisition has been a perennial issue for operators – particularly in London – due to exorbitant property prices and cumbersome planning laws.

Under England’s planning use classes framework – which hasn’t been updated since 1987 – gyms and leisure centres can only occupy buildings designated under the ‘Class D2’ category, whereas shops retail outlets sit in the far more abundant ‘Class A1’ category of building.

One outspoken critic of planning laws has been Barry’s Bootcamp UK co-owner Sandy Macaskill, who believes England’s "outdated" town planning laws fail to take into account how fitness businesses have evolved since the 1980s towards a more service-focused offering similar to other A1-classed businesses, such as hairdressers.

“We’ve still got the major hurdle of planning committees frequently blocking applications to convert A1 spaces into fitness studios,” Macaskill told Health Club Management recently, revealing that his efforts to find a third London location for his boutique chain have been frustrated by council planning committees.

“It’s as if the 2012 Olympic legacy didn’t even happen – councils are telling everyone to be more active but then they don’t want to see fitness studios on the high street.”

“It’s definitely something that needs to be addressed,” Macaskill added. “We’ve won the landlords over in terms of the benefits that fitness businesses can offer. Now it’s time for the government to make good on its calls for us to do more exercise, by supporting the businesses trying to make this happen.”

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
The boss of the UK’s only listed gym chain has called on planning authorities to reconsider the role that gyms have to play in creating healthier and resurgent high streets.
HAF,FIT,IND,PHR,PTS,LCT
THUMB7842_939387.jpg

News

One in three councils in England are expecting to close at least one of their
Indoor group exercise can recommence in England and Scotland today (17 May), as part of
Thousands of health clubs, swimming pools and leisure centres are under the threat of permanent
Fully vaccinated people in the US no longer need to wear a face mask whether
Anytime Fitness UK has revealed that April was its busiest month for new memberships since
HCM understands that Fitness International, which operates more than 700 health clubs under the LA
Crown Sport Lockers (UK) Ltd
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With gyms and leisure centres in England reopened, and the rest of the UK due
A court has given Virgin Active the green light to erase the rent arrears it
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We’re going after health club and spa management contracts for hotels and independent gyms and also planning to launch a You Fit franchise
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Town planning
Over time, town planning has led to the creation of obesogenic environments, but Hamilton in New Zealand is taking a fresh approach to mobilising its population, by turning the city into a playground, as Kath Hudson reports
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The idea was to weave a wellness culture into the fabric of village life by incorporating movement, rest and relaxation, nutrition, connectedness, purpose and environment
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A new report, conducted by Deloitte, analyses the growth of the Chinese fitness industry and the outlook ahead, as Kristen Walsh reports
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Our strategy is to position ourselves as a wellness provider. We have all the elements needed – gyms, physiotherapy, F&B and spas
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Opinion
promotion
The UK’s first dedicated leisure development framework has completed its first four-year term with £144m committed investment in public leisure projects.
Opinion: UK’s first leisure framework celebrates £144m investment in public leisure
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Integrated workout solutions will underpin gyms' recovery, says Les Mills’ Martin Franklin
The UK has spent most of the year in lockdown but finally, clubs are beginning to see their fitness communities open back up, with indoor group exercise not far behind.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: New consumer expectations demand an exceptional customer experience
fibodo believes that providers who meet consumers needs of service, flexibility, richness of content and accessibility will thrive as we build new and different models of working in leisure, health and fitness and across all sports and activities.
Company profiles
Company profile: TVS Group
The TVS Group supply and install sports and fitness flooring to a wide range of ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Fitronics (CoursePro and TRP)
Fitronics is the company behind The Retention People (TRP) and CoursePro. We truly understand our ...
Supplier Showcases
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Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Exercise equipment
Power Plate: Exercise equipment
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Fitness equipment
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Red Light Therapy
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Lockers/interior design
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Uniforms
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Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
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Diary dates
07-09 Jun 2021
Virtual summit,
Diary dates
12 Jun 2021
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
13-14 Jun 2021
Online,
Diary dates
01-04 Jul 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
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28-29 Sep 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
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Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
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