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21 Nov 2023
Bannatyne launches budget gym concept
By Liz Terry
Bannatyne launches budget gym concept
Just Fitness by Bannatyne is a new UK budget gym brand
Photo: Bannatyne Group
UK operator, Bannatyne Group, has revisited one of its classic brands to launch a budget gym concept.

First launched 25 years ago by founder, Duncan Bannatyne, Just Fitness was the company’s original name before it rebranded to Bannatyne.

Now the company says it will selectively develop Just Fitness by Bannatyne locations in areas where a budget concept is required. The first site is a redeveloped former DW Fitness location in Broadstairs, Kent, UK and near to a Bannatyne Health and Fitness location.

Just Fitness Broadstairs has 108sq m of functional workout and cross training space, as well as a central workout zone called The Pitch. The club includes racks, plates, weights, benches and punch bags, as well as a cardio zone with Wattbikes and Stairmasters and range of selectorised equipment.

As well as offering Les Mills classes in two studios, Just Fitness has developed a gym floor class, called Turbo, which can be done singly, in pairs or in teams of three, racing the clock to compete. The club also has full Myzone integration to drive engagement and a big focus on strength training for women.

Other facilities include dedicated glute training and combat stations.

An activation and recovery room offers PowerPlate, TRX and massage chairs for warming up, stretching and cooling down.

The club is slated as one of the first in the world to offer collar-free barbells from Norwegian company Gungnir bars.

These are equipped with SlideLock collars built directly into the bars, enhancing safety and ease of use and were supplied by Indigo Fitness.

ServiceSport worked to refurbish equipment for the new gym, adding to its eco-credentials.

“Just Fitness gives us a product that can be switched on quickly in any box set-up, such as retail, which we favour because of the synergies with footfall,” Bannatyne’s Colin MacGillivray told HCM. “Development will be opportunistic.”

Rates are between £22.99 and £24.99 a month, with day passes £7 and no ClassPass. There are special rates for younger members and students.

The club is open seven days a week from 6.00am to 10.00pm Monday to Thursday, 6.00am to 9.00pm Friday and 8.00am to 8.00pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Bannatyne announced recently that it had returned to profit following the COVID disruptions, reporting turnover up from £75.5m in 2021 to £127 in 2022.

EBITDA was up from £14.8m to £29.6m and pre-tax profit from -£12.9m to +£1m. Membership recovered from 179,737 in 2021 to 199,046 in 2022. It stood at 210,000 by August 2023.

Founder and CEO, Duncan Bannatyne, said: “The performance is especially impressive, as over recent years the company experienced high impact increases in minimum wage, energy and interest rates, adding £11m to our planned costs. The hard work of our leadership team puts the business in a positive position for further growth in the years ahead.”

Bannatyne Group operates 69 clubs, 46 spas and three hotels.

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