Friday, September 11, 2015

News: Gym Group hoping Rotherham plans will work out

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The Gym Group, the longest established and leading operator of low-cost gyms in the UK, is hoping to open a new 24 hour facility in Rotherham, if planning permission can be secured at a new trade counter development in Parkgate.

The first phase of the £5m Tradeworld retail development in Rotherham is fully let with terms agreed with occupiers such as NTS and Al Murad Tiles meaning that construction can commence on the first five units later this year.

Plans have now been submitted after The Gym Group has shown a keen interest in taking the proposed units units 9 and 10.

Planning permission was granted conditionally last year for the Parkgate development where the plan is to create ten units totalling 45,000 sq ft. The plans, drawn up by Sheffield architects, Bond Bryan, show the units, ranging in size from 2,200 sq ft to 5,200 sq ft, complete with 111 standard car parking spaces and access from a new entrance from Rotherham Road.

Litton Properties purchased the Ruscon engineering works in 2003 but plans for a DIY retail store and garden centre were refused in 2005. Outline planning permission was granted in 2006 for a warehouse development with 20% of the floorspace approved for retail use. Detailed plans for seven units were approved in 2008 but were not developed out.

The latest planning consent, if granted, would effectively "sit alongside" the permitted scheme. Either but not both schemes could be implemented. The plans, drawn up by DPP Planning are for 9,000 sq ft of floorspace with a mezzanine floor of 4,000 sq ft.

The Gym Group will hope to fit out the Rotherham gym with a range of cardio-vascular (rowing, running, cycling, etc) and resistance (weights) equipment, and offer membership at low cost, with no minimum contract period.

The development is expected to create 15 full time equivalent jobs.

As the site is not located within a designated town, district or local centre, a sequential test assessment has been undertaken in line with national and local planning policies. Sequential tests ensure that development is located in the most sustainable location first (usually in town centres), before other, less sustainable locations are chosen.

After assessing sites in Rotherham town centre and around Parkgate, the applicants conclude that none are suitable or available to accommodate the proposed development.

Former England squash player John Treharne founded the London based gym chain in 2007. The group has built a successful business model operating 24 hour health and fitness uses with around 350,000 members across 60 sites located in most major cities in the UK.

Phoenix Equity Partners took a majority stake in June 2013, valuing it at £90m.

With plans for 80 gyms across the UK, revenues were up 27% to £45.9m for the year ended December 13 2014 with EBITDA (earning before taxes) rising 25% to £19m.

The Gym Group website

Images: The Gym Group

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