Belfast Telegraph

Derry fitness firm prepares for marathon franchising

By Rachel Martin

A Londonderry fitness company has plans to build a network of up to 30 franchises across the UK and Ireland within three years.

As part of the re-brand of Fighting Fit gyms, the company will be renamed FF Fitness and marketed outside Northern Ireland.

Owner Seamus Fox said he was aiming to create between 20 and 30 franchises within three years.

Mr Fox told how since the company's formation in 2012, thousands of people had joined the fitness firm, and he revealed he planned to open franchises in Ireland, the UK and, in the long term, the US and Australia.

In just three years, the company has set up bases in Springtown Industrial Estate in Derry and in Dungiven. The first FF Fitness franchise will officially open next week in Letterkenny.

Founder Seamus said the launch of the new fitness experience in Donegal was an "exciting beginning to a huge project".

"In FF Fitness we have created a highly successful business model," Mr Fox added.

"We have achieved great success as a business and produced fantastic health and fitness results for thousands of clients in the last three years.

"We have re-branded as FF Fitness to accommodate large-scale expansion. The move has hugely increased our business potential and client reach, and over time will allow us to improve the lives of thousands of people well beyond our borders."

The Letterkenny site is FF Fitness's first franchise.

The company works with 14 self-employed personal trainers across its three sites.

FF Fitness uses high-intensity training methods and diet planning, which Mr Fox said, sets it apart from other gym franchises.

One of the fastest growing UK fitness chains is Pure Gym, which recently opened six spots in Northern Ireland. It was founded in 2009 and is one of the UK's largest gym chain.

According to the Leisure Database, almost 14% of the UK population are registered as health and fitness club members across more than 6,000 gyms.

The organisation, which researches the leisure industry, claimed that during this month alone, 24 new gyms would open across the UK, the majority of which will be privately run.

Belfast Telegraph