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The Gym's History
The Gym Group was founded by John Treharne, a former England squash player, in 2008. Perhaps that’s why we’re so focused on proper health and fitness benefits, and less on the luxuries that a small percentage of traditional health club members want.
John has a long and successful history in the gym business. He opened his first health club chain, Dragons Health Clubs, in 1991, building the business to a total of 22 clubs. He floated the company in 1997, and in 2000 he and his investors sold it on. He then spent time lending his expertise to premium gym chain Esporta, before concentrating on the launch of The Gym Group.
Our first Gym opened in Hounslow in 2008. It was a roaring success, and was swiftly followed by Guildford and Vauxhall. Within the first three years we’d opened 20 Gyms, we've now got over 38 Gyms with a highly active and always increasing pipeline. We’re ambitious, driven and committed to our members. We’ve received flattering – but we think deserving – accolades from our peers, the press, and most importantly, our members. But we’re not complacent – we’ve got long-term plans for expansion and continued innovation to ensure that we lead the UK’s budget gym growth.
The Gym Group has been funded and supported, since inception in 2008, by Bridges Ventures who have committed £17.5 million to the business. Bridges has £275 million under management and has a 10 year proven track record in investing successfully to achieve social and environmental goals as well as delivering substantial financial returns. A recent example typical of the Bridges Ventures’ approach is the Hoxton, a hotel that redefined its market segment, invested in at concept stage, and delivered returns in excess of 40%.
In August 2012 The Gym Group was awarded the prestigious Investors in People accreditation on its first attempt. The Gym is the only group operator within the health and fitness sector to be accredited and that shows that how much we really care about and look after our people, providing them with a better working life.
The Investors in People report praised The Gym for the ‘huge motivation and energy levels within the company’ from the top down, creating ‘a wave of positive morale within the business.’
The Gym Group is the only representative from the low cost health and fitness sector to have achieved this accolade.
John Treharne, CEO, said:
"We are delighted to have received such recognition. To be in the top 20 of the fastest growing companies in the UK is quite some achievement and is testament to the hard work and efforts of everyone at The Gym Group."
"We have a very strong foundation and platform, a market-leading business and a focussed strategy from which to take the business forward and to build on our success to date. We have exciting plans for the future and a receptive market place to grow into… we plan to double again in the next couple of years."
In March 2013 The Gym Group achieved 15th place in the prestigious The Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work For list, the UK’s most extensive research into employee engagement, which honours the 100 Best Small Companies to Work For. Most notably, The Gym Group achieved the top Three Star Accreditation standard, declaring the company an ‘extraordinary’ employer.
John Treharne said:
“We are particularly pleased and proud with our inclusion and position in this highly regarded survey. We work tirelessly to ensure that The Gym Group is a satisfying and rewarding place to work. It is part of our ethos to have our employees engaged, enjoying their work and striving for the best results for our customers. In turn, our employees and experienced management team have grown the business to its current 38 high quality sites and market leadership in the low cost health and fitness market. We are delighted that the success of our employees has been recognised in this way.”