South Shields gym changes hands in £20million deal

Lifestyle Fitness, Crossgate
Lifestyle Fitness, Crossgate

Fitness fanatics may soon be able to work out around the clock after South Tyneside’s biggest gym was taken over as part of a £20.5m buyout.

Lifestyle Fitness - in Crossgate, South Shields - has become part of the fast-expanding, never sleeping The Gym Group.

It is one of 18 Lifestyle outlets in the North East and Midlands, previously owned by Competition Line, which will now operate under The Gym Group brand.

The Gym Group already runs 98 The Gym-branded outlets - many open 24-hours-a-day - around the country.

It is not yet known if bosses will apply to South Tyneside Council for permission to extend the South Shields site’s opening hours beyond the current 6am to 10pm.

John Treharne, CEO of The Gym Group, said: “Lifestyle is an excellent and complementary fit with our existing estate.

“These are well invested gyms in strong locations with an established membership.

“The acquisition strengthens The Gym Group’s position in the Midlands and North in areas where we are currently underrepresented and accelerates our expansion plan.

“The addition of these gyms is anticipated to be significantly earnings enhancing by 2019.”

The Gym Group has grown rapidly since opening its first site in 2008 in Hounslow, West London.

It is now the second largest company in the low-cost gym market, having opened 19 new sites in 2015 and 15 last year.

In Newcastle, it operates three gyms in the city centre, Gosforth, and Benton.

Ten of the 18 newly-bought sites, identified as the strongest performers, will be converted to The Gym brand immediately.

Each conversion is expected to cost £450,000, but it is unclear if South Shields is one of them.

All will transfer as going concerns including the existing membership with staff also moving to the new company.

The remaining eight centres are expected to each receive around £110,000 of investment, mainly in gym equipment, until full rebranding.

Other sites included in the sale include Birmingham, Barnsley, Darlington, Leicester, Hartlepool, Manchester, Preston, Stoke, Wakefield and Wembley, London.