Fitness First picks the City for first foray back into openings

Michael Bow
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GYM CHAIN Fitness First has chosen the city of London as the location for its first new UK site since it completed its painful restructuring last year.

The company, which had to offload 64 clubs as part of a company voluntary arrangement to help save the business, will open the club in Bishopsgate next spring, the first step on its journey back to growth.

It had previously announced plans to spend £77.5m on a revamp of current clubs, with £29m of that spent on a project of overseas expansion into Germany, India and the lucrative Asian market.

The chain, which was founded in Bournemouth 20 years ago this year, was taken over by debt investors Oaktree Capital Management and Marathon Asset Management in a debt for equity swap last year after a period of poor performance.

The Fitness First chain currently has a host of different sites in the city for workers, including facilities on Gracechurch Street, Queen Victoria Street and Fenchurch Street.