A WOMAN who 'accidentally' set up her own gym is marking her second successful year in business.

Former civil servant, Lucy Currie of Northallerton in North Yorkshire set up Evolve NCA in the town after a friend jokingly told her to takeover a closing gym.

After taking redundancy in 2015 from her government job, and a temporary office job, she took over an existing gym in 2017.

She said: "Some major life changes happened – I was spending more and more time in the gym.

"The gym in Northallerton was on its way out. Somebody jokingly said 'why don't you just open the gym' – I looked into it and drew up a business plan – it wasn't an intentional thing."

Ms Currie said she had became increasingly interested in fitness, following a stint with the civil service in London.

She said: "The opening of the gym was not something I had dreamt of doing for many years, it was more of an accident – a hobby which got ever so slightly out of hand.

"Part of my career led me to work in London, where I embraced city life, which eventually led to me being massively over weight, unfit and unhappy."

Ms Currie said that after joining a gym, she 'did not enjoy going,' as she found it intimidating.

She said: “I had a wonderful trainer but I felt the whole exercise thing wasn’t for me and the environment definitely wasn’t – it appeared to be filled with the super fit, or the stereotypical muscle men and I always felt it wasn’t somewhere I wanted to be.”

Part of her business plan was to create a gym which seemed 'friendly.'

The Northern Echo:

TRADING ESTATE: Ms Currie opened the venue on Standard Way in Northallerton Picture: GOOGLE

She said: “Many people, women especially, are put off weightlifting because they find the environment intimidating which is, in part, why I also decided to open the gym.

“Having a woman front the business helps alleviate some of that fear and creates something of a more gentle environment for people to train in.”

Ms Currie said she invested the majority of her savings into the conversion of former gym on Standard Way, a busy trading estate within the North Yorkshire town.

Her business model of a gym which would 'welcome everyone' opened in April 2017. She said: “I always think about my own experiences in gyms and use that to create a place where everyone feels comfortable.

"I sometimes see my role as something of a hostess at a party. I make introductions, I encourage conversation – I try to create an environment that’s light-hearted."

Looking ahead, Ms Currie said she would like to work with the older generation, to help them regain their fitness.