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UK news update


GLL bolsters south-west presence with Bath win


GLL has made further gains in the south- west of England by securing the management contract for six leisure sites on behalf of Bath & North East Somerset Council. The leisure operator will oversee £17m


of investment in site upgrades as part of the deal, which sees GLL strengthen its foothold in the region after the recent acquisition of south-west operator Tone Leisure. The new contract covers Bath Sport and Leisure Centre, Keynsham Leisure Centre, Culverhay Leisure Centre, Chew Valley Leisure Centre, Odd Down Playing Fields and the Bath Pavilion. The £17m modernisation and upgrade will include the construction of a new leisure facility in Keynsham, to include a swimming pool, learner pool, fitness suite and studio space, as the current facility is reaching the end of its useful life. It will also include a major refurb of Bath Sport and Leisure Centre. Details: http://lei.sr?a=h2c6N


Active populations vital for successful cities: study


Pure Gym acquires LA fitness


Pure Gym has emerged as the winner of the long-running race to acquire LA fitness. The gym chain helmed by Humphrey Cobbold had been in contention to buy the business, alongside Fitness First, Sports Direct Fitness and Terra Firma Capital. Pure Gym confirmed on 29 May that it


had completed the acquisition of LA fitness and its 43 fitness clubs, for a sum thought to be in the region of £60–80m. The acquisition was backed by Pure Gym owner CCMP Capital Partners and a number of banks. Pure Gym CEO Humphrey Cobbold told Health Club Management that the company’s


plans to convert most of the LA fitness portfolio into Pure Gym sites – despite the disparity in proposition – wouldn’t be an insurmountable challenge. He cited the former LA fitness sites in Cambridge and Poole which have been converted into Pure Gym sites as evidence of this, adding that membership fees would vary according to local market conditions. Cobbold praised the efforts of LA fitness CEO Martin Long and his team. He said they would support the transition, with a view to then stepping out of the business, but added that discussions are still to be had. Details: http://lei.sr?a=d3T5A


Humphrey Cobbold (right) recently succeeded Peter Roberts as Pure Gym CEO Activity plays a role in a city’s prosperity


New research has reinforced the long-held view that cities which promote physical activity gain an economic advantage. The findings, presented in June at an


Active Cities Summit in Bristol, show that investing in parks and green spaces, removing the barriers to active commuting and encouraging exercise in schools and offices can pay sizeable dividends. The University of California study – which was commissioned by Nike and UK charity Sustrans – showed areas that foster physical activity enjoy economic benefits such as higher retail revenues, plus lower healthcare and crime costs. The report based its results on more than 500 findings from studies in 17 nations. “We hope this research will open the


eyes of government leaders to the many important benefits of designing cities to support active living,” said the study authors. Details: http://lei.sr?a=w3k7H


14 Asda planning fitness studio concept


Asda is bidding to help customers shed pounds from their waistline as well as their shopping bill through a new functional fitness concept. Health Club Management


can exclusively reveal that the supermarket giant is planning to partner with gym operator Total Fitness for the venture, with concept drawings suggesting the proposition will be entirely class-based. The first site is expected to open in Swindon, while Health Club Management


Asda has laid out plans to offer group-based fitness classes


understands that up to 20 studios could be rolled out nationwide – in or near existing stores – depending on the concept’s success. Asda’s planning application says the Total Fitness-operated gym will offer “group-based


Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital


fitness classes, as opposed to more traditional gym formats.” Total Fitness – which operates 17 sites across the north of England – refused to comment on the partnership. Details: http://lei.sr?a=b7J2E


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