A successful North East ‘no frills’ fitness business is building up for a healthy future after making its first move into Teesside.
Paul and David Pearson opened OneGym in Bishop Auckland in 2012, offering users access to all the latest fitness equipment without costly add-ons like swimming pools and saunas that they don’t necessarily want to use, and subsequently opened a second, much larger OneGym on Newton Aycliffe Business Park in early 2014.
Both County Durham gyms were funded by investments from the Finance For Business North East Fund, which is run by local fund management firm NEL Fund Managers, as well as capital from NatWest Bank and the firm’s management team.
And OneGym has now gone back to NEL for a further £170,000 Growth Fund investment to support the opening of its new gym on Wilmore Road in Redcar, a site offered to them by their landlords in Bishop Auckland.
Six new jobs have been created at the two floor facility, which takes the total number of people employed by OneGym to 18.
The Redcar gym has space for various different fitness classes as well as a wide range of the latest exercise equipment. New members either join via www.onegymfitness.com or at a purpose-built booth on the premises.
Managing director Paul Pearson, who has a longstanding background in the health and fitness industry, says: “Both the Bishop Auckland and Newton Aycliffe gyms have been running very successfully, and have proved that the low cost gym concept works well in the North East.
“We can keep membership costs down by cutting out all the added frills that gym users don’t necessarily want, but end up paying for anyway elsewhere, while still offering the top quality equipment and changing facilities that people expect and tailoring the way we operate precisely to meet users’ needs.
“Redcar has long been on our radar as a place in which we’d like to have a presence, so it’s great to be trading in what is an excellent location.
“We’ve got some very well-known names around us which has a big positive impact on brand visibility and footfall, and since opening our doors, we’ve had a great deal of interest in what we offer, which is very encouraging.
“We’ve had a great relationship with the NEL team, and the way in which they get on and get things done in a very efficient manner means we can get on with developing the business as we want to.”
Jonathan Luke, senior portfolio executive at NEL Fund Managers, adds: “Making progressive use of investment capital helps businesses move forward at different points in their development, and the OneGym team provides a great example of how to do this in a planned and strategic manner.”
Aimed at regional businesses which are at a development and growth stage, the Growth Fund forms part of the wider Finance for Business North East Fund.
Managed by North East Finance, it will see £125m of investment capital injected into the region by the European Investment Bank and the European Regional Development Fund 2007-13 over a five year period.
NEL is looking to make around 130 investments over the five-year life span of the Growth Fund, and is actively looking to speak to ambitious north east companies with robust business plans.
The ERDF 2007-13 programme is bringing over £300m into North East England to support innovation, enterprise and business support. It will help create and safeguard 28,000 new jobs, start 3,000 new businesses and increase the region’s productivity by £1.1bn per annum.