Anytime Fitness reports near 300 per cent growth in approaches from would-be franchisees
Anytime Fitness has reported a near 300 per cent increase in new franchisee enquiries in the past 12 months, compared to the previous year.
Since gyms first reopened in July 2020, the company has opened 14 new clubs in the UK and Ireland, growing its network to over 175 franchised locations.
Further sites are due to open in London Fields, Harborne, Loughton and Swiss Cottage, as Anytime Fitness sets its sights on reaching the 200-club landmark in the next 12 months.
This growth in interest has been boosted by a change in legislation last year, which means there are now greater opportunities for leisure facilities to open on the high street.
The amendment to the use classes order means there are fewer planning obstacles when moving into what were previously retail units, allowing a quicker turnaround for facilities in these locations.
Neil Randall, CEO of Anytime Fitness UK, says: “One of the good things to come out of the past year and a half is that people and businesses have taken it as an opportunity to reinvent themselves.
“The sharp rise in enquiries we’ve received is directly linked to that and the attraction of owning your own business.
“We’re seeing people of all ages, experience and backgrounds get in touch with us and recognising the potential of owning their own health club and being able to directly improve the health and lives of their local communities.
“We also believe our sector can play a huge part in breathing new life into the high street and we’re seeing a raft of high footfall locations in town centres become available.
“As our country’s workforces transitions back to offices, people are recognising the huge opportunity of being able to open health clubs in these locations that were previously off limit to us.”
Such is the growing pipeline of new openings, Anytime Fitness has recently created new positions in its support office, including head of franchise development and head of club openings, as well as adding a director of franchising to its senior executive team.