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
Wexer
Wexer
Wexer
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

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.
Related news

UK government's "Dad's Army" shambles could result in legal action over gym closures

14 Oct 2020
The UK government is likely to face legal challenges from gym operators following the revelation ...

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

14 Oct 2020
Gym and health club operators with sites in Liverpool, UK, have been left "astounded" at ...

HCM challenges UK government’s COVID-19 strategy

13 Oct 2020
The UK government should encourage people to spend more time in regulated environments to curb ...
Latest News
Fitness tech firm JaxJox will accelerate the launch of its connected home fitness solution, InteractiveStudio, ...
Latest News
Snap Fitness has ended its agreement with its master franchisee for the UK and Ireland ...
Latest News
The UK government has provided a lengthy response to a petition which demanded that gyms ...
Latest News
Gym and health club operators in Germany are believed to be considering joint legal action ...
Latest News
The latest study into the infection rates recorded at gyms has shown that the average ...
Latest News
A new mobile fitness platform delivers personal training sessions to people at home by combining ...
Latest News
Europe's largest gym chain, Basic-Fit, has published its trading update for the first nine months ...
Latest News
Boutique operator, The Refinery E9, has launched a personal trainer (PT) service with a twist, ...
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
Research
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
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
We look at how you can unlock hidden value in your operation with a complete end-to-end leisure management solution
Features
Letters
EuropeActive's David Stalker and Jack Shakespeare from ukactive write to HCM
Features
Rehab
Simon Harling explains how exercise professionals can ensure a safe return to exercise for post-COVID patients
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
People
The reopening of the industry, encouraging confidence in consumers and maintaining business is a collective responsibility
People
I think the cost of financing the Fitness World deal was more than compensated for by the £20m Fitness World brought in while the UK gyms were closed
People
Being physically active is the best way of withstanding this pandemic
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: Cryotherapy specialists, L&R Kältetechnik, launch new artofcryo.com division
L&R Kältetechnik has launched a new division, named artofcryo.com, after 30 years’ experience with -110 °C electrical solutions.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Premier Software Solutions offers scalable software for single or multi-site businesses
Premier Software Solutions' flagship business management system, Core by Premier Software, is the leading single and multi-site solution designed specifically for the spa, wellness and leisure industries.
Video Gallery
Freemotion CoachBike™
FreeMotion Fitness
Give your members the immersive cycling experience that keeps your members engaged – today and tomorrow. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Volution
Volution uses data to connect the digital with the physical and partners with health and ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Wattbike
Wattbike is the creator of the world’s most advanced and innovative indoor bikes, developed in ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Locking solutions
Monster Padlocks: Locking solutions
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Software
Volution.fit: Software
Fitness Software
FunXtion International BV: Fitness Software
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
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

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.
Related news

UK government's "Dad's Army" shambles could result in legal action over gym closures

14 Oct 2020
The UK government is likely to face legal challenges from gym operators following the revelation ...

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

14 Oct 2020
Gym and health club operators with sites in Liverpool, UK, have been left "astounded" at ...

HCM challenges UK government’s COVID-19 strategy

13 Oct 2020
The UK government should encourage people to spend more time in regulated environments to curb ...

News

Fitness tech firm JaxJox will accelerate the launch of its connected home fitness solution, InteractiveStudio,
Snap Fitness has ended its agreement with its master franchisee for the UK and Ireland
The UK government has provided a lengthy response to a petition which demanded that gyms
Gym and health club operators in Germany are believed to be considering joint legal action
The latest study into the infection rates recorded at gyms has shown that the average
A new mobile fitness platform delivers personal training sessions to people at home by combining
Volution.fit
Volution.fit
Join the second Annual Fitness & Active Brands Summit and walk away with the expertise
Europe's largest gym chain, Basic-Fit, has published its trading update for the first nine months
Boutique operator, The Refinery E9, has launched a personal trainer (PT) service with a twist,
Gains made getting people more physically active over the last few years were all but
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
Hussle HQ
Hussle HQ
As the COVID-19 lockdown forced the temporary closure of businesses across the country, the outlook
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
MIE FitQuest
MIE FitQuest
1 - 15 of 11,656
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
Research
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
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
We look at how you can unlock hidden value in your operation with a complete end-to-end leisure management solution
Features
Letters
EuropeActive's David Stalker and Jack Shakespeare from ukactive write to HCM
Features
Rehab
Simon Harling explains how exercise professionals can ensure a safe return to exercise for post-COVID patients
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
People
The reopening of the industry, encouraging confidence in consumers and maintaining business is a collective responsibility
People
I think the cost of financing the Fitness World deal was more than compensated for by the £20m Fitness World brought in while the UK gyms were closed
People
Being physically active is the best way of withstanding this pandemic
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
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
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
Overall, it’s about creating something a little less efficient, a little more fun. Somewhere you can lose yourself for a couple of hours
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
We have a very mixed demographic, which is something people said would never happen. Someone who earns a minimum wage can be training and socialising alongside a billionaire
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: Cryotherapy specialists, L&R Kältetechnik, launch new artofcryo.com division
L&R Kältetechnik has launched a new division, named artofcryo.com, after 30 years’ experience with -110 °C electrical solutions.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Premier Software Solutions offers scalable software for single or multi-site businesses
Premier Software Solutions' flagship business management system, Core by Premier Software, is the leading single and multi-site solution designed specifically for the spa, wellness and leisure industries.
Video Gallery
Freemotion CoachBike™
FreeMotion Fitness
Give your members the immersive cycling experience that keeps your members engaged – today and tomorrow. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: Volution
Volution uses data to connect the digital with the physical and partners with health and ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Wattbike
Wattbike is the creator of the world’s most advanced and innovative indoor bikes, developed in ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Locking solutions
Monster Padlocks: Locking solutions
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Software
Volution.fit: Software
Fitness Software
FunXtion International BV: Fitness Software
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
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:
Wexer
Wexer