The Gym opens its first central London location in Vauxhall
The Gym Group opens its third site this week, in St Georges Wharf, Vauxhall – its first central London location. Members will have access to over 170 pieces of state-of-the-art gym equipment.
The Gym provides quality gym facilities at affordable prices, with membership at The Gym Vauxhall costing £14.99 a month with no membership contract. Gyms are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This combination of value and accessibility means that a large number of the local community who have previously been unable to be a member of a gym can now afford to, with obvious health benefits.
Bridges Ventures invests in companies that are located in the most under invested areas of the UK or that can achieve strong social impacts in sectors such as healthcare, the environment and education. The Gym, in line with Bridges Ventures’ social criteria, aims to open the majority of its sites in Bridges Ventures target areas where large portions of the local community will be able to enjoy the benefits of low cost gym membership. The Gym are also committed to making their gyms as green as possible. In addition to state-of-the-art self generating energy-efficient equipment and energy saving lighting already used, they have recently introduced two new initiatives:
• All existing and new Gyms will have Thirsty Planet bottled water available for their members. Thirsty Planet is a brand of bottled water whose sole purpose is to raise money for the provision of clean water in Africa.
• All of their locations will be cleaned using environmentally-friendly floor cleaners that use no chemicals and 70% less water than conventional machines.
The Gym will open in Liverpool and Manchester this autumn, with more sites in the pipeline.
John Treharne, CEO of The Gym commented: “We are excited to open our first central London location in Vauxhall and are extremely pleased with the response so far. We now look forward to bringing affordable gym facilities to other locations around the UK, starting with Manchester and Liverpool this autumn”.
Anne-Marie Harris of Bridges Ventures added:
“Bridges Ventures congratulates The Gym on another successful opening. We feel that it is important to offer affordable health and fitness in our target areas. . We are also delighted with the newly introduced initiatives to make The Gym even greener.”
HB Communications for Bridges Ventures 020 7637 2780
Tom Hampson-Bellon firstname.lastname@example.org
Florence Drake email@example.com
John Treharne 0844 871 6701/07860 203225 firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to editors:
Bridges Ventures is an investment company whose commercial expertise is used to deliver both financial returns and social and environmental benefits. Bridges Ventures’ key backers include Sir Ronald Cohen, co-founder and former chairman of Apax Partners, 3i and Doughty Hanson.
Three funds have been raised to date: Venture Funds I & II and the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund.
Venture Fund I totaled £40m while Venture Fund II totaled £75m, beating its original target of £50m by 50%, and was closed in 2007. Investors in the second fund include HSBC, Co-operative Financial Services, Barclays Business Banking, Lloyds TSB, and Citigroup, individuals including Tom Singh of 3i, Dr Mike Lynch of Autonomy Corporation, Harvey McGrath of Man Group and Lloyd Dorfman of Travelex, as well as pension funds and endowments including the Universities Superannuation Scheme, the West Midlands Pension Fund and All Souls College.
The Venture Funds invest in businesses based in regeneration areas and in sustainable business sectors such as the environment, education and healthcare. Bridges Ventures typically invests up to £10m at a time in ambitious, entrepreneurial businesses including early stage, development capital and management buy-outs. So far, £52m has been invested in 30 companies, many of whose employees have come out of long-term unemployment. To date there have been four successful exits: Harlands in Hull, SimplySwitch in South London, HS Atec in Yorkshire and EB2 in South London.
Seeded by the Bridges Charitable Trust in November 2008, the Social Entrepreneurs Fund is an innovative financing solution that is tailored to the needs of ambitious social enterprises. Over £4 million has been raised by nine Founder Partners who have contributed donations to the Bridges Charitable Trust to create an Evergreen Fund. They include NESTA, Sir Ronald Cohen, Nigel Doughty, Harvey McGrath, Apax Foundation, The Generation Foundation, Lehman Foundation, Deutsche Bank and the Bridges Ventures team who have allocated funds from their profit share.
The fund will invest in the form of equity-like capital, which shares in the risks but also the returns of social enterprises. The investment will be coupled with hands-on advice and support to help the social enterprises realise their potential. For more information please go to www.bridgesventures.com
The Gym is a 24 hour, seven day a week exercise facility dedicated to providing access to health and fitness facilities at an affordable price. Approximately 40% of The Gym’s joiners to date are first time gym users, compared to the norm of 10-15%.
The clubs have been built with an innovative lighting scheme and all of the equipment’s electronic components, with the exception of the treadmills, are self-powered. The unique online joining process requires no paper forms or filing, adding further to the environmental credentials of The Gym.
The Gym offers a large pool of personal trainers and high levels of security with 24 hour pin number access to the clubs. John Treharne, CEO of The Gym, has extensive health and fitness experience. He set up Dragons Health Clubs in 1991, floating the business in 1997 and sold the extensive mid market family club chain in 2000. He is a past Chairman of England Squash and played Squash for England. For more information please visit www.thegymgroup.com
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