A GYM member and personal trainer have beaten off tough competition in a bidding war to take over their branch of Fitness First.
Ben Stacey and Andy Alderson will be the official owners of the gym in Berkhamsted High Street from Saturday, September 1 and will re-brand it as The Fitness Society with the aim of giving it a community feel.
The gym is one of more than 60 branches that Fitness First is selling off as part of restructuring the company.
Andy said: “The priorities right from day one have been to ensure the jobs of the staff employed there, as well as causing the least amount of disruption to them and the club’s members.”
The entrepreneur, who owns Autorama in Cow Roast and leasing brands vanarama and pickuptrucksdirect, had been training with Ben at the gym for two years before the opportunity came along.
They investigated the possibility of buying it when they heard the company was selling off branches.
Ben said: “I’ve owned my own personal training business, The Fitness Society, for a couple of years but I’ve always had ambitions to manage my own gym and build a community of people dedicated to fitness.”
The business partners have employed the skills of local business consultant Helen King, who is a shareholder and director of Autorama.
They are planning a refurbishment and will develop the business by talking to members and staff to see what changes they want.
They will then gradually improve the facilities with different equipment, training and classes.
Getting involved in local community sporting projects is also high on the agenda.
Andy said: “Ben’s enthusiasm for fitness is contagious.”