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Les saves South Shields gym from closing after spotting its plight on Facebook

Les Ojugbana, the new owner of Powerhouse Gym in South Shields.
Les Ojugbana, the new owner of Powerhouse Gym in South Shields.

A businessman has saved a town centre gym from closure - after spotting it was for sale on Facebook.

Powerhouse, in North Street, South Shields, was about to shut up shop for good.

The owner of Powerhouse Gym in South Shields, Les Ojugbana, with his trainers Alex Enlund, Adam Appleton, Kris Carhart and Charlotte Hill.

The owner of Powerhouse Gym in South Shields, Les Ojugbana, with his trainers Alex Enlund, Adam Appleton, Kris Carhart and Charlotte Hill.

But Les Ojugbana, who already runs a successful gym in Sunderland, decided he would miss the gym so much, he bought it.

He’s now taken over the lease on the building and bought all the equipment, while creating 10-15 new jobs.

He said: “I was scrolling through Facebook when I saw a post saying that the gym would be closing. I phoned a friend to find out more details and, within an hour I had driven down to meet the owner.

“I was well aware of the gym, it’s a close-knit, community gym. I know a lot of people who train here and it would be a shame for a business like this to close.”

Les has managed to boost business at Fitness 2000 in Roker, Sunderland, after taking it over two years ago and he plans to incorporate that business model at his South Shields venture.

He said: “Fitness 2000 is the No1 ranked independent gym in the North East and we are the home of champions of all sports, so I aim to replicate that success here.”

People who train at Fitness 2000 include champions in MMA, powerlifting, karate and roller derby and Alex Enlund, a Cage Warriors World featherweight champion, has been drafted in to be a coach at Powerhouse.

And champion bodybuilder Shaun Joseph-Tavernier will be working across both sister gyms, running the sites’ protein and supplement shops.

Other new additions will include a healthy-eating cafe and a drive to encourage more females to use the gym.

Les says since getting the keys a fortnight ago, customer reaction to the takeover has been positive.

“The people who use the gym have been over the moon, they said they didn’t know where they’d go if this place closed down,” he said.

“There are other gyms in the area, but I am used to competition at Fitness 2000.

“This gym has more of a family-friendly vibe, it’s one of those places where everybody knows your name.”