Gym gets new owners

Total Fitness in Lancaster.
Total Fitness in Lancaster.

A multi-million pound investment is set to bring a gym building that has been empty for nearly two years back into use.

Around 20 full-time jobs will be created when the former Total Fitness on Lancaster Business Park, Caton Road, opens as a 3-1-5 Health Club at the beginning of May.

Business partners Sean Thornton and Ceri Smith, both from the Morecambe and Lancaster area, will make the £2.4 million project their ninth gym, with others in places such as Derby and Scarborough.

The pair, who have around 20 years experience in the fitness industry, are co-owners of equipment company X-Force and Mr Thornton, a former Heysham High School pupil, says they have always wanted to come home.

The 46-year-old, who started out at the Sandpiper Health Club at the Lancaster House Hotel, said: “We’ve got experience in all aspects of fitness and looking at Lancaster, it’s a fantastic site.

“Our ultimate goal was to build up our portfolio and open one in our home town that we owned outright. It’s what we’ve always strived for.

“We want to make Morecambe and Lancaster the most active and healthy place in the UK, which involves working with other providers not competing against them.”

The £2.4 million cost includes the purchase of the site as well as fitting it out.

It will be the first 3-1-5 Health Club with the company already having eight under their Eze Fitness brand.

Mr Thornton said the site will be the “working national showcase” for X-Force equipment, and with part-time staff and class instructors the work force is expected to reach around 40.

An event is planned for the Bank Holiday Monday, May 6 with the gym due to open properly the following day.

Total Fitness closed down suddenly in March 2011 because of a rent row between the operators and the owners of the building.