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14 Sep 2018
Wellness platform Hero partners with developer Moda to pioneer 'healthy rental communities'
By Tom Walker
Wellness platform Hero partners with developer Moda to pioneer 'healthy rental communities'
Hero was founded by Joe Gaunt, a former MD of shared workspace specialist WeWork who has also held senior roles at Virgin Active and Fitness First

Developer Moda has signed a pioneering partnership with wellness company Hero, which will look to create "the UK's healthiest rental communities".

The partnership will see Hero provide a wide range of fitness and wellness services – including fitness hubs – at residential projects led by Moda.

Rather than simply create gyms and shared amenities, however, the partnership is looking to "go one step further" by forging a "more inclusive approach to supporting its residents’ physical, social and mental wellbeing".

As well as focusing on physical health, the partnership will provide support around nutrition and mindfulness.

Hero will provide mental health first aid training to Moda’s on-site resident teams, helping them identify and provide support to a person who may be developing a mental health issue.

“Our focus is to provide the healthiest possible environments alongside a great living experience cutting out the hassle and uncertainty that usually comes with renting," said Johnny Caddick, managing director at Moda.

"Loneliness and mental health are in issues facing society. Our aim is to create happy, healthy and productive communities that can help alleviate the daily pressures of city living.”

The partnership's first joint project will see a 10,000sq ft Hero training club being built at Moda's 35-storey, 466-home build-to-rent scheme Angel Gardens in Manchester.

The training club will be split into four zones – Stronger, Athletic, Cardio and Rejuvenate – and unlike traditional gyms, members will either work out with a personal trainer or as part of a group class.

Residents will also benefit from Hero’s wellness technology, which encourages people to live healthier lifestyles, pulling analytics from wearables used to track sleep, movement, nutrition and mood, as well as 3D body scanning.

The Angel Gardens project is scheduled to open next year.

“Whether you’re a footballer, a researcher, a plumber or a teacher, the principles surrounding wellbeing and lifestyle are the same," said Joe Gaunt, founder of Hero.

"But we feel traditional gyms and healthcare aren’t tailored to individuals and don’t provide enough personal insight and support to help people achieve their unique goals.

"We believe we have the right mix to benefit our communities and using technology as an enabler we can better inform and educate people to make healthy choices.

"By partnering with Moda, we want to help enhance the experience for those living in city centres and bring all aspects of wellbeing and health right to the fore.”

With strategic funding partner Apache Capital Partners, Moda has a growing pipeline of 7,000 homes for rent across the UK with multiple city centre schemes underway across England and Scotland.

Aimed at young professionals, young families and downsizing seniors keen to reconnect with urban living, Moda plans to offer long-term tenancies and an array of shared spaces which will include over 80 co-working bays in its Manchester scheme.

Gaunt, a former managing director of US-based shared workspace specialist WeWork – who has also held senior roles at Virgin Active and Fitness First – founded Hero in 2017.

A technology-based wellness platform, Hero provides personal and group training alongside an app to help track how activity, nutrition, mindfulness and movement impact people’s health and wellbeing.

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