Funding helps gym to muscle-in on competition

GYM INVESTMENT: left to right Paul Pearson (MD OneGym) and Jonathan Luke (senior portfolio executive at NEL Fund Managers).

GYM INVESTMENT: left to right Paul Pearson (MD OneGym) and Jonathan Luke (senior portfolio executive at NEL Fund Managers).

First published in Business News

A NO FRILLS fitness business is strengthening its presence in the region after securing investment from the Finance For Business North East Fund.

Paul and David Pearson opened OneGym in Bishop Auckland in 2012, offering users access to fitness equipment without costly add-ons like swimming pools and saunas that they don’t necessarily want to use.

After attracting more than 1,300 members to their first gym, the brothers have now opened a second, much larger OneGym on Newton Aycliffe Business Park.

Eight new jobs have been created at the new 12,500 sq ft fitness centre, which has facilities for fitness classes as well as a gym in which more than £150,000 has been invested in installing Cybex exercise equipment.

The original launch of OneGym was funded through an investment from regional fund management firm NEL Fund Managers via the Finance For Business North East Growth Fund that it administers, as well as by further capital from NatWest and the firm’s management team.

Both NEL and NatWest have again signed up as backers for the new Newton Aycliffe OneGym.

Paul Pearson, said: "We’ve wanted to open in Newton Aycliffe for a long time and think the demand will be just as strong as we’ve had previously, especially from all the businesses that are right on our doorstep.

“We’ve also got our eyes on a number of other North-East locations in which we think demand for this concept will be equally strong, and we’ll be looking to move in those areas when the right opportunities come up.

“NEL have been easy to work with over the last couple of years, and they said from the start they’d be keen to talk about the next stage of the business’s development. Securing the second investment was very straightforward, and we’re pleased to be maintaining their confidence in our commercial potential.”

NEL is looking to make about 130 investments over the five year lifespan of the Growth Fund, and is actively looking to speak to ambitious North-East companies with robust business plans.

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