Gym set up by former rugby player gets £5 million backing

The Business Growth Fund has added a low-cost gym offering to its growing portfolio through a £5 million transaction.

North of England-based gym business Xercise4Less has netted the growth capital it needs to fund the roll out of 100 new locations in the next five years.

Set up in 2006 by former rugby player Jon Wright, Xercise4Less now has 250 staff, and 150 freelance workers, across its nine gym sites.

The £5 million equity investment from the £2.5 billion bank-backed Business Growth Fund (BGF) will create a reported 4,000 new jobs from the roll out.

Wright, founder and CEO of Xercise4Less, comments, ‘BGF’s funding will give us the financial and operational facilities to continue our expansion at a key time for the market and we look forward to working with Richard and the team over the coming years.

To kick-start its roll out plan, the gym company has agreements signed on 14 new locations in Yorkshire, the North East and South West – primarily in large out-of-town sites.

The investment is the third made by the BGF’s Northern team in the last two months (York Mailing and Better Bathrooms), and will now sit alongside the likes of Mexican restaurant business Barburrito, pub chain Wear Inns and catering and restaurant company Peyton and Byrne as leisure and hospitality firms in the BGF portfolio.

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Richard Taylor, senior investment manager at BGF, adds, ‘The company has established a unique model in a high growth sector and the management team, under Jon’s guidance, has demonstrated its expertise in rolling out new gyms over the past 18 months and consistently delivering a fantastic customer experience at the same time.

‘We have no donut that they will be capable of growing and managing the business on a much larger scale.’

For the last financial year, Xercise4Less posted revenues of £7.5 million – improving on targets by 250 per cent over the past five years.

Wright adds, ‘The facilities we offer at the price at which we offer them, continue to attract a large tranche of new consumers into the market.’

See also: Our exclusive Business Growth Fund roundtable:

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter Ruthven

Hunter was the Editor for from 2012 to 2014, before moving on to Caspian Media Ltd to be Editor of Real Business.

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