While these figures make fantastic early reading, our sector still requires more government support to secure the future of facilities
– Neil Randall
Anytime Fitness UK has revealed that April was its busiest month for new memberships since it began trading in the UK.
The franchised health club operator said "tens of thousands" of new members joined its independently-owned clubs during April, following "unprecedented demand".
Anytime achieved the record-breaking numbers despite clubs in England opening 12 days into the month, those in Scotland and Northern Ireland opening in the last week of April and Welsh clubs remaining shut entirely.
Anytime Fitness has opened five new clubs across the UK during 2021 – in St Helier (Jersey), Epsom, Newark, Addlestone and Daventry.
It is expecting to open a further four clubs in May, taking the UK portfolio to in excess of 180 clubs.
Neil Randall, CEO of Anytime Fitness UK, said: "It would seem that more people than ever are seeing the importance of their own personal health, having come through such a challenging year.
"As independent business owners, our franchisees have shared those challenges but have all shown great proactivity and initiative to attract so many new members throughout April.”
Randall said, however, that while the influx of new members was something to "celebrate", the health and fitness sector will still face challenging times ahead despite a positive re-start to business.
“While these figures make fantastic early reading, our sector still requires more government support to secure the future of facilities.
“Our clubs have made great early inroads in rebuilding their membership bases but many have had over eight months of no income in the past year with no deferrals on sizeable payments such as rent.
"The moratorium preventing commercial evictions is due to be lifted soon, which will present a significant challenge to both ourselves and the wider industry.
"As a sector, we continue to campaign for the same VAT relief enjoyed by the hospitality sector as well as legislative support around landlord and tenant relationships.”