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Local duo fight off national competition to takeover Fitness First
Fitness enthusiasts can look forward to attending a new gym, The Fitness Society. Local entrepreneur Andy Alderson, and personal trainer Ben Stacey, fought off fierce competition, to buy Berkhamsted High Street’s Fitness First.
Andy owns Autorama at Cow Roast and national leasing brands vanarama and pick-uptrucksdirect, he has been training with Ben for 2 years. “I’ve owned my own personal training business, The Fitness Society, for a couple of years,” says Ben, “But I’ve always had ambitions to manage my own gym and build a community of people dedicated to fitness.”
With Ben’s fitness knowledge and Andy’s business expertise they were first off the starting blocks when the opportunity arose to join forces and save the high street gym. Comments Andy, “Ben’s enthusiasm for fitness is contagious. I really believe in his philosophy of training the individual for the demands of their day to day life, not just pumping iron for the sake of it.”
Andy and Ben are looking forward to building a local gym for local people with a truly community feel. Comments Andy, “Fitness First is restructuring its portfolio and we are delighted to be able to take over the Berkhamsted branch. Despite the recession, this club has a very loyal membership.”
Andy was also keen to point out that, while it can’t have been easy for Fitness First to make the decision to sell the Berkhamsted gym, it handled the whole process with the utmost professionalism. “Their 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 clubs’ members.” He went on to add that this was also his and Ben’s priority and they were both delighted that they would be able to retain all of the staff and there would be no interruption to the availability of the clubs’ facilities.
The pair plan to develop the gym further by sitting down with members and staff to see what changes they want, then gradually improving the facilities with different equipment, functional training and exciting classes. They will also be employing the skills of local business consultant, Helen King, a shareholder and director of Autorama and someone who is very well known amongst the current clientele of the club.
The Fitness Society is also keen to get involved in local community sporting projects. Ben, who becomes the General Manager and Health and Fitness Director says, “We understand that for many people their gym or personal training is just part of a wider set of sports interests.” Ben, who already fitness trains the Hemel Storm basketball team says, “We are looking forward to helping more local sports teams, whether it’s through providing sponsorship or fitness advice, with the aim of further boosting the success of our local sports clubs and obviously attracting new members to The Fitness Society at the same time.”