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leisure opportunities Fitness First eyes London domination


Continued from front cover Of the rebranded Fitness First sites, two of the standout performers have been the Tottenham Court Road and South Kensington clubs. Encouraged by this, Fitness First is now looking for potential sites predominantly in central London, amid plans to open up to 10 new clubs over the next five years. Te strategy came into force with


this month’s launch of the new flag- ship Bishopsgate Fitness First – the gym chain’s first new opening since its scrape with administration in 2012. Te site boasts a raſt of inno- vative equipment and looks set to rival the two ‘tech-savvy’ London offerings recently announced by competitor Virgin Active. “London has always been a strategic focus for


CEO Andy Cosslett is intent on rejuvenating the business


a time when the group is undergoing a £270m global makeover, implementing a training overhaul and planning expansions in Asia. “We’re attracting and retaining more


us and opening a hi-tech club like Bishopsgate, our seventh club in the square mile, further stakes our claim as the capital’s top fitness brand,” Fitness First CEO Andrew Cosslett. “Our new brand will reach 155 clubs globally


and over 500,000 members by the end of 2014 – sending a clear message that we aim to con- tinue rewriting the rules of the fitness industry.” Te Bishopsgate launch marks a milestone in the company’s ongoing recovery and comes at


members, which shows that the enhanced experience and transformed clubs are already helping members to crack the motivation code,” added Cosslett. “Tis puts us in a position to go further for our members, and rollout trans- formed clubs, personalised expertise and new workouts even quicker than we’d planned. We know our business works best when our mem- bers are getting the most from their workout.” Details: http://lei.sr?a=j4P6D


UK alcohol consumption: Record low


UK alcohol consumption fell once again in 2013, plunging to the lowest level this century, according to figures from the British Beer & Pub Association’s (BBPA) Statistical Handbook 2014. In 2013, alcohol consumption per capita fell


1.7 per cent, with the handbook identifying a strong downward trend in consumption over the past decade – per capita consumption has fallen a substantial 18.1 per cent since 2004. Te handbook’s section on alcohol related-


harm shows falling trends in several key indicators. Drinking by young people has fallen; in England in 2013, 39 per cent of 11-15 year olds had ever drunk alcohol, compared to 43 per cent in 2012 and 61 per cent in 2001. Among 11-15 year olds who drank in the last week, the average weekly consumption was 8.2 units, compared to 12.5 units in 2012 and 9.8 in 2001. “It’s great to see trends in alcohol harms


coming down, showing that investment by the industry and partnership with government,


24 Simmonds: Government must offer more support


through targeted measures, is having a positive impact,” said Brigid Simmonds, BBPA chief executive. “But despite the recent cuts in beer duty, Britain’s consumers are still subject to some of the highest tax rates for beer in the EU. Let’s hope we see another tax cut next year.” Details: http://lei.sr?a=X4Y7m


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