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Gloucestershire Business News

Why it didn't work out for Berkeley fitness centre

A popular Berkeley gym has closed down after trading for eight years.

Dynamic Fitness, based near the A38 at Berkeley Heath, marketed itself an "affordable health centre that offers state-of-the-art gym equipment, personal training and weekly classes" and built up a strong local following since it opened its doors in spring 2015.

But amid post-pandemic conditions and soaring energy costs, the centre closed on Tuesday last week – the business's Facebook page stating the move was permanent. 

Owner Tristan Watkins stated: "Please cancel direct debits. And a thank you to all that supported the gym it's been a blast."

Visited today, the site has now been occupied by a Subaru car restoration specialist.

Reaction from gym users showed a groundswell of support for the efforts of Mr Watkins, to keep the business afloat. Patrick Hobbs said: "I'm sorry to here that. I had a feeling it was coming. All the best for your future. Thank you for the good times I had there," and Glyn Gough added: "I know you worked hard to get it up and running, you will find something because you are a grafter".

Mr Watkins has indicated efforts to find a buyer have been unsuccessful leaving no choice but to close immediately.

Many users of the facility commented on the hard economic landscape for gyms, a fact borne out by a report from Bloomberg that suggests post-pandemic behaviour spells a "turbocharging" of virtual health sessions, where users log on to train from a remote destination.

Furthermore, with three lockdown waves shuttering gyms in Gloucestershire, and subsequently restricting gym capacity, the sector's usual spike in January applications – the fattest slice of the income cake – has been progressively squeezed.

B2B publication eat.drink.sleep reports that "Most industries have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic, not least the fitness industry. The loss of monthly subscriptions and unused investments in COVID-secure equipment has been costly."

Research from the zinc supplement maker Pharma Nord showed that, as of September, there were approximately 6,700 health and fitness clubs in the UK.

"There was also about 9.7 million people who were members of these gyms." The average monthly price for membership is around £40, and gyms in the UK are expected to typically see income of £388 million every month."

But it added: "it can be estimated that UK gyms have lost £3.1 billion of revenue since the start of the pandemic. With a surge in membership in January, it can be suggested that another £46.6 million is lost by the 1,164,000 people who we would have expected to join in January 2021.

These numbers are large sums of money, but since the first lockdown, this equates to £470,000 of lost revenue per fitness club."

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