No-frills chain Pure Gym hires new director to lead expansion

Kasmira Jefford
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PURE Gym, the budget fitness club chain, is muscling in on its bigger rivals after appointing a new director yesterday to steer its ambitious growth plans.

The group, which is backed by New Look founder Sir Tom Singh’s private-equity firm Magenta Partners, said it has hired Stephen Rought Whitta to the new role of acquisitions director.

Rought Whitta was previously head of property at bargain retailer B&M where he oversaw more than 150 store openings since 2010.

Pure Gym, founded in 2009, is part of a growing number of low-cost operators exploiting a dislike among cash-strapped consumers for high membership fees and long-term contracts.

The chain, which currently has 43 sites, plans to be running a total of 50 clubs by the end of April, with a further 30 planned before the end of the next financial year. These include new gyms in Finsbury Park and Hammersmith.

In November, it renegotiated the terms of its £15m loan with Barclays, also securing a new £500,000 working capital facility.