Thornton Heath’s brand new state of the art gym has been open less than a month and is facing possible closure if Covid restrictions escalate to Tier 3 in the capital.
It has been a difficult few months for franchisee Des Menewe (pictured) but he said he was ‘excited’ to finally be open and even if the gym does have to temporarily shut the opening had gone ‘amazingly well’ with hundreds signing up to become members.
The 24 hour gym, which has created 12 jobs had been due have open before the first lockdown on the Ambassador House forecourt but delays caused by Covid and equipment delivery put the launch back until September 30.
Des said: “The response from members has been amazing. We are getting great feedback from new joiners who are so happy to have a quality gym in the area.
The community has also been so positive and supportive. We know we did the right thing in coming to Thornton Heath and offering a totally different experience.”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, equipment is spaced two metres apart and anyone entering the gym has their temperature taken on arrival. There is also a limit on how many members can be working out at any one time Des says that staying in good mental and physical shape is vital and if the gym does have go in to lockdown membership will be frozen and staff will continue to look after gym users with ‘home work outs’.
He said: “Just when we we were getting going it is now looking a bit ominous. We are basically on tenterhooks. We just don’t know either what the government plan is as everyone doesn’t seem to have a clue about the strategy. Obviously we are hoping it doesn’t take hold and there is still some way to go but it does seem inevitable.”
The gym features ‘state of the art’ equipment, experienced personal trainers and coaches, and offers more than 50 classes a week, from spin sessions to pilates and yoga classes.
Classes have just started but can only operate with reduced participation because of Covid and restrictions on indoor group activity may also put paid to this in the short term.
Thornton Heath councillor Callton Young, who was at the gym’s formal opening, said: “There is demand for this tip top investment in the area. The long queue outside said it all. Much respect to the investors.”
• The former police station on the corner of Parchmore Road is being offered for rent after the Metropolitan police lease finally ran out. The premises are being let for retail at £40,000 per year.
The William Hill betting shop opposite the Prince George on Thornton Heath High Street has also closed and is empty.