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
Technogym
Technogym
Technogym
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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
Get the latest news, jobs and features in your inbox
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

PureGym considers legal action as UK fitness industry fights back against forced closures in Liverpool

Gym and health club operators with sites in Liverpool, UK, have been left "astounded" at the government's "retrograde step" in ordering gyms to close in the city, as part of its controversial new three-tier COVID-19 control system*.

The decision has been met with universal anger among health club operators – with the sector vowing to fight the ruling.

Humphrey Cobbold, CEO of PureGym, said the company is considering going legal, saying: "We're extremely disappointed to have to close our gyms in the Liverpool area.

"We urge the mayors and leaders of the Liverpool City Region to reconsider this retrograde step, which has no scientific basis and we challenge the Government to present the data that supports this decision.

“If they fail to do so, they will be actively contributing to the wilful destruction of a sector that is an essential service, at a time when many operators are already in financial distress,” he told the Guardian.

“We will consider any and every course of action that can be taken to support our industry and members, including recourse to legal processes if that is what it takes,” he said.

"The facts and data we have at a national and local level indicate clearly that gyms are safe, with no evidence of COVID-19 transmission in gyms.

"At a local Liverpool level, we at PureGym have seven facilities in the area and since reopening, there have been over 300,000 visits by around 31,000 members.

"During this time period we have been notified of only 11 members and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19, and crucially, we have seen no confirmed cases of transmission of the virus in our facilities in the Liverpool area – nor indeed across our estate of 276 gyms in the UK and 516 facilities (and over 15m visits) in total across Europe."

Meanwhile, Glenn Earlam, CEO of David Lloyd Clubs, questioned the decision to close gyms, while allowing other facilities, with questionable track records in preventing COVID-19 transmission, to keep operating.

“We are astounded by Liverpool City Council’s decision to close gyms and leisure centres, while still allowing restaurants to remain open," he said.

"Today the BBC reports that restaurants are one of the highest settings for COVID exposure, at nearly 10 per cent, along with shopping centres at 3.4 per cent – both of which remain open – compared with just 1.4 per cent in gyms, so this decision defies all logic.

"Indeed, since our clubs reopened on 25 July we have had just eight cases from more than 130,000 member visits in our two clubs in the area at Knowsley and Speke, with – most critically – not a single known in-club transmission."

Industry body, ukactive, has also weighed in, calling for a full consultation before gyms and leisure facilities in Liverpool are closed.

Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said: “Following yesterday’s announcement of new restrictions in Liverpool, we are calling for an immediate pause on the decision to close the gyms and leisure centres in the city, until genuine consultation with key local and industry stakeholders has taken place, and the appropriate data and evidence consulted.

“The government has committed to undertake consultation prior to any closure of gyms and leisure facilities, but this consultation has not taken place.

“We also note that the Mayors in the region, Joe Anderson and Steve Rotherham, have argued the case that gyms and leisure centres should not close, and both have also stressed that no consultation has taken place.

“The SAGE documentation released by the government last night makes no reference to the latest safety data for the sector in the UK – evidence which demonstrates the effective implementation of the guidance that our sector co-produced with the Government and SAGE.

“There is a clear and urgent need for all parties to work together, with central government and local stakeholders, to review this decision, before any gyms and leisure centres are forced to close unnecessarily.

“We continue to call for decisions to be made on the latest available scientific and operational evidence.

“Our sector must be allowed to play its full role in supporting the nation’s physical and mental resilience to COVID-19 at this time.”

Documents released by SAGE show that the increasingly beleagured government was told in September that closing gyms would not have a major impact in terms of reducing the impact of the pandemic, but that it would undermine people's mental and physical health.

Data from ukactive shows that gyms are continuing to successfully control COVID-19 transmission.

There were 22 million visits to fitness facilities during the two months following reopening, with the number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 visits logged as 0.34, with no community transmission occurring.

* BACKGROUND

The UK government's COVID-19 control tier system classifies English regions as being on medium (tier 1), high (tier 2) or very high (tier 3) alert, and gyms and leisure centres in areas deemed as being in tier 3 locations have been told to close their doors.

Liverpool is the first and only place so far to be classed as tier 3, and facilities there are set to close today (Wednesday 14th October), along with a raft of other facilities, including pubs and casinos.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Gym and health club operators with sites in Liverpool, UK, have been left "astounded" at the government's "retrograde step" in ordering gyms to close in the city, as part of its controversial new three-tier COVID-19 control system
SAR,HAF,FIT,IND,PTS,PHR,PUB
2020/THUMB346421_800814_707871.jpg
Latest News
Mid Ulster District Council (MUDC) in Northern Ireland has won a landmark VAT case, which ...
Latest News
The government has pledged to invest £100m in supporting public leisure centres this winter, as ...
Latest News
Gyms in Liverpool,UK, have been given the go-ahead to reopen, following a dramatic week of ...
Latest News
Be Military Fit (BMF) has completed a restructuring project, designed to transform the outdoor fitness ...
Latest News
Rod Hill, former president of TRIB3 and director general of Anytime Fitness Iberia, has signed ...
Latest News
Persistent and rising levels of lifestyle disease across the world have exacerbated the effects of ...
Latest News
Customer experience software provider, AskNicely, has announced it will host a new virtual event called ...
Latest News
In breaking news, HCM understands the UK government has removed gyms and fitness facilities from ...
Features
feature
HIIT Without the Hurt. It’s one of the most memorable straplines in the fitness industry and it’s been at the core of every Speedflex session for almost ten years
Features
Editor's letter
Our sector is still misunderstood by those in power. It’s time to accelerate the fight to change this by creating a new vocabulary to define what we do, why it matters and how we can contribute
Features
feature
As winter draws nearer in the north of the world, it’s time to set your members up for their indoor workouts by taking advantage of the latest developments in indoor cycling
Features
Research
New research shows that UK public sector health and fitness is on track for recovery, but operators face shifts in their member profiles that mean operators will need to adapt to thrive
Features
feature
A new study has found that exercise can reduce the symptoms of depression in young adults by amplifying reward processing, as Tom Walker reports
Features
feature
Your worst nightmare happens – a member with COVID-19 attends three group exercise classes in a period of 18 hours. Sarah Shortt explains how one operator dealt with this crisis while staying open throughout and avoiding community transmission
Features
feature
Deloitte has produced a report in partnership with EuropeActive, analysing the impact of COVID-19 on the European health and fitness market, as Karsten Hollasch reports
Features
People
HCM people

Dr Darshan Shah

Next Health: co-founder
Our vision is that health is not the absence of disease but the abundance of vitality
People
As a society, we all need to make a conscious effort to be more active and our industry is in the best position to help people do that
People
The reopening of the industry, encouraging confidence in consumers and maintaining business is a collective responsibility
Opinion
promotion
In a post-Covid world, member experience is more important than ever before. Your customers’ expectations have been heightened as the coronavirus continues to dominate our everyday lives.
Opinion: Why member experience is more important now than ever before
Opinion
promotion
Our world has changed since March and together, we are learning and adapting to how this sector can continue to thrive in this COVID conscious world.
Opinion: Why fitness clubs and facilities need to evolve in a COVID-conscious world
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Red Light Rising teams up with ITRM Clinic to supply red light therapy for injured athletes
Red light therapy equipment supplier, Red Light Rising, has partnered with Aidan Robinson of ITRM Clinic in the UK
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Ritz Carlton co-founder joins Frontline Summit 2020 as keynote speaker
Frontline work has never been more important and frontline workers are the largest class of workers on the planet, as well as the most impactful group on the experience customers get.
Video Gallery
Freemotion FUSION Team Training
FreeMotion Fitness
The High-Intensity Cardio-Strength Training. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Jordan Fitness
Jordan Fitness have been at the forefront of premium gym design, with a strong reputation ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Octane Fitness
A global innovator of high-performance fitness equipment, Octane Fitness, a Nautilus, Inc. brand, continually redefines ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Gym flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Fitness Software
FunXtion International BV: Fitness Software
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Property & Tenders
11 - 25 Union St, London SE1 1SD
Bankside Open Spaces Trust
Property & Tenders
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
03-06 Nov 2020
Online,
Diary dates
12 Nov 2020
Virtual, United States
Diary dates
17 Nov 2020
Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-03 Dec 2020
Virtual,
Diary dates
08-09 Dec 2020
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
02-04 Feb 2021
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-26 Feb 2021
IFEMA, Madrid, Spain
Diary dates
03-04 Mar 2021
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates

News

PureGym considers legal action as UK fitness industry fights back against forced closures in Liverpool

Gym and health club operators with sites in Liverpool, UK, have been left "astounded" at the government's "retrograde step" in ordering gyms to close in the city, as part of its controversial new three-tier COVID-19 control system*.

The decision has been met with universal anger among health club operators – with the sector vowing to fight the ruling.

Humphrey Cobbold, CEO of PureGym, said the company is considering going legal, saying: "We're extremely disappointed to have to close our gyms in the Liverpool area.

"We urge the mayors and leaders of the Liverpool City Region to reconsider this retrograde step, which has no scientific basis and we challenge the Government to present the data that supports this decision.

“If they fail to do so, they will be actively contributing to the wilful destruction of a sector that is an essential service, at a time when many operators are already in financial distress,” he told the Guardian.

“We will consider any and every course of action that can be taken to support our industry and members, including recourse to legal processes if that is what it takes,” he said.

"The facts and data we have at a national and local level indicate clearly that gyms are safe, with no evidence of COVID-19 transmission in gyms.

"At a local Liverpool level, we at PureGym have seven facilities in the area and since reopening, there have been over 300,000 visits by around 31,000 members.

"During this time period we have been notified of only 11 members and staff who have tested positive for COVID-19, and crucially, we have seen no confirmed cases of transmission of the virus in our facilities in the Liverpool area – nor indeed across our estate of 276 gyms in the UK and 516 facilities (and over 15m visits) in total across Europe."

Meanwhile, Glenn Earlam, CEO of David Lloyd Clubs, questioned the decision to close gyms, while allowing other facilities, with questionable track records in preventing COVID-19 transmission, to keep operating.

“We are astounded by Liverpool City Council’s decision to close gyms and leisure centres, while still allowing restaurants to remain open," he said.

"Today the BBC reports that restaurants are one of the highest settings for COVID exposure, at nearly 10 per cent, along with shopping centres at 3.4 per cent – both of which remain open – compared with just 1.4 per cent in gyms, so this decision defies all logic.

"Indeed, since our clubs reopened on 25 July we have had just eight cases from more than 130,000 member visits in our two clubs in the area at Knowsley and Speke, with – most critically – not a single known in-club transmission."

Industry body, ukactive, has also weighed in, calling for a full consultation before gyms and leisure facilities in Liverpool are closed.

Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, said: “Following yesterday’s announcement of new restrictions in Liverpool, we are calling for an immediate pause on the decision to close the gyms and leisure centres in the city, until genuine consultation with key local and industry stakeholders has taken place, and the appropriate data and evidence consulted.

“The government has committed to undertake consultation prior to any closure of gyms and leisure facilities, but this consultation has not taken place.

“We also note that the Mayors in the region, Joe Anderson and Steve Rotherham, have argued the case that gyms and leisure centres should not close, and both have also stressed that no consultation has taken place.

“The SAGE documentation released by the government last night makes no reference to the latest safety data for the sector in the UK – evidence which demonstrates the effective implementation of the guidance that our sector co-produced with the Government and SAGE.

“There is a clear and urgent need for all parties to work together, with central government and local stakeholders, to review this decision, before any gyms and leisure centres are forced to close unnecessarily.

“We continue to call for decisions to be made on the latest available scientific and operational evidence.

“Our sector must be allowed to play its full role in supporting the nation’s physical and mental resilience to COVID-19 at this time.”

Documents released by SAGE show that the increasingly beleagured government was told in September that closing gyms would not have a major impact in terms of reducing the impact of the pandemic, but that it would undermine people's mental and physical health.

Data from ukactive shows that gyms are continuing to successfully control COVID-19 transmission.

There were 22 million visits to fitness facilities during the two months following reopening, with the number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 visits logged as 0.34, with no community transmission occurring.

* BACKGROUND

The UK government's COVID-19 control tier system classifies English regions as being on medium (tier 1), high (tier 2) or very high (tier 3) alert, and gyms and leisure centres in areas deemed as being in tier 3 locations have been told to close their doors.

Liverpool is the first and only place so far to be classed as tier 3, and facilities there are set to close today (Wednesday 14th October), along with a raft of other facilities, including pubs and casinos.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Gym and health club operators with sites in Liverpool, UK, have been left "astounded" at the government's "retrograde step" in ordering gyms to close in the city, as part of its controversial new three-tier COVID-19 control system
SAR,HAF,FIT,IND,PTS,PHR,PUB
2020/THUMB346421_800814_707871.jpg

News

Mid Ulster District Council (MUDC) in Northern Ireland has won a landmark VAT case, which
The government has pledged to invest £100m in supporting public leisure centres this winter, as
Gyms in Liverpool,UK, have been given the go-ahead to reopen, following a dramatic week of
Be Military Fit (BMF) has completed a restructuring project, designed to transform the outdoor fitness
Rod Hill, former president of TRIB3 and director general of Anytime Fitness Iberia, has signed
Persistent and rising levels of lifestyle disease across the world have exacerbated the effects of
FreeMotion Fitness
FreeMotion Fitness
As the COVID-19 lockdown forced the temporary closure of businesses across the country, the outlook
Customer experience software provider, AskNicely, has announced it will host a new virtual event called
In breaking news, HCM understands the UK government has removed gyms and fitness facilities from
Globally, gyms have, on average, seen nearly 70 per cent of their pre-lockdown members return
A UK government U-turn – just announced – will see gyms and leisure centres staying open
"Dozens" of gyms in Liverpool, UK, have defied the government and stayed open for business
The UK government is likely to face legal challenges from gym operators following the revelation
MIE FitQuest
MIE FitQuest
Power Plate, the global leader in whole-body vibration training equipment, is encouraging its community to
Technogym's Let’s Move For a Better World campaign is back this year, with a new
The UK government should encourage people to spend more time in regulated environments to curb
Fitness leaders in the UK have welcomed news that everywhere but Liverpool is currently allowed
fibodo Limited
fibodo Limited
1 - 15 of 11,647
Features
feature
HIIT Without the Hurt. It’s one of the most memorable straplines in the fitness industry and it’s been at the core of every Speedflex session for almost ten years
Features
Editor's letter
Our sector is still misunderstood by those in power. It’s time to accelerate the fight to change this by creating a new vocabulary to define what we do, why it matters and how we can contribute
Features
feature
As winter draws nearer in the north of the world, it’s time to set your members up for their indoor workouts by taking advantage of the latest developments in indoor cycling
Features
Research
New research shows that UK public sector health and fitness is on track for recovery, but operators face shifts in their member profiles that mean operators will need to adapt to thrive
Features
feature
A new study has found that exercise can reduce the symptoms of depression in young adults by amplifying reward processing, as Tom Walker reports
Features
feature
Your worst nightmare happens – a member with COVID-19 attends three group exercise classes in a period of 18 hours. Sarah Shortt explains how one operator dealt with this crisis while staying open throughout and avoiding community transmission
Features
feature
Deloitte has produced a report in partnership with EuropeActive, analysing the impact of COVID-19 on the European health and fitness market, as Karsten Hollasch reports
Features
People
HCM people

Dr Darshan Shah

Next Health: co-founder
Our vision is that health is not the absence of disease but the abundance of vitality
People
As a society, we all need to make a conscious effort to be more active and our industry is in the best position to help people do that
People
The reopening of the industry, encouraging confidence in consumers and maintaining business is a collective responsibility
People
HCM people

Keith Burnet

CEO global markets, Les Mills
I wanted to do something to inspire others and encourage them to believe that no matter what age you are, anything is possible
People
Our facility isn’t for everyone. In daring to be different, we’re attracting people willing to commit to a fresh way of approaching health and fitness
People
If I look forward five years, I’d want us to be somewhere around the 1,000-site mark – the ‘premier league’ benchmark
People
We only need 3,000 members to break even. It takes the pressure off when you hit that in pre-sale
People
HCM people

Luca Maggiora

Co-founder, House of Wisdom
People think making a change is easy and fast, but that isn’t true. It’s hard and it takes time
People
As you approach each studio, there’s an area of transition, setting the tone as you move from one space into another, recalibrating your senses. I call it Layers of Wow
People
Opinion
promotion
In a post-Covid world, member experience is more important than ever before. Your customers’ expectations have been heightened as the coronavirus continues to dominate our everyday lives.
Opinion: Why member experience is more important now than ever before
Opinion
promotion
Our world has changed since March and together, we are learning and adapting to how this sector can continue to thrive in this COVID conscious world.
Opinion: Why fitness clubs and facilities need to evolve in a COVID-conscious world
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Red Light Rising teams up with ITRM Clinic to supply red light therapy for injured athletes
Red light therapy equipment supplier, Red Light Rising, has partnered with Aidan Robinson of ITRM Clinic in the UK
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Ritz Carlton co-founder joins Frontline Summit 2020 as keynote speaker
Frontline work has never been more important and frontline workers are the largest class of workers on the planet, as well as the most impactful group on the experience customers get.
Video Gallery
Freemotion FUSION Team Training
FreeMotion Fitness
The High-Intensity Cardio-Strength Training. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Jordan Fitness
Jordan Fitness have been at the forefront of premium gym design, with a strong reputation ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Octane Fitness
A global innovator of high-performance fitness equipment, Octane Fitness, a Nautilus, Inc. brand, continually redefines ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Gym flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Gym flooring
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Fitness Software
FunXtion International BV: Fitness Software
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Property & Tenders
11 - 25 Union St, London SE1 1SD
Bankside Open Spaces Trust
Property & Tenders
Waltham Abbey, Essex
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
03-06 Nov 2020
Online,
Diary dates
12 Nov 2020
Virtual, United States
Diary dates
17 Nov 2020
Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom
Diary dates
27-28 Nov 2020
Athena, Leicester, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-03 Dec 2020
Virtual,
Diary dates
08-09 Dec 2020
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
02-04 Feb 2021
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
23-26 Feb 2021
IFEMA, Madrid, Spain
Diary dates
03-04 Mar 2021
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
Technogym
Technogym