By Matthew Roscoe • 23 February 2021 • 10:05
PureGym Experiences Heavy Weight of Lockdown as it Loses Thousands of Pounds a Day.
HUMPHREY COBBOLD, the gym franchise’s boss, recently told the BBC’s Today programme that “we are burning about £500,000 a day and that’s the average over eight months of closure.”
He told the programme that it has meant about £120m of costs with no revenue for his 275 gyms.
“It’s been brutally tough,” said Mr Cobbold of the period under lockdown.
He stated that despite the government furlough scheme paying a portion of staff salaries, PureGym has amassed sizeable rent arrears as well as still having to pay some staff costs such as pension contributions.
Mr Cobbold told the BBC that thankfully he has been able to raise funds from investors, which has helped the business survive, and he insists that his business is ready to re-open safely.
“The sooner the better within safe operating procedures for us,” he said. “We can make a massive contribution to the health of the nation”
Yesterday, Monday, February 22 Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the four-step roadmap for lifting the lockdown in England – with five weeks between each easing stage.
The third stage, which is due to commence on April 12, will hopefully see the reopening of non-essential shops, hairdressers, beauty salons, gyms, libraries, zoos, museums, pubs, restaurants and bars.
However, he says PureGym and other firms have learned the hard way that government plans can come late and can be changed.
“I’ve learned over the last year not to make too many assumptions,” he said.
Speaking to Sky News after the roadmap was revealed, the CEO said: “It’s all very well to hear that tennis and golf will be reopening, but let’s be honest, those are rich people’s sports.”
Humphrey Cobbold says he fully agrees with the “notion of caution” but “we really need to get people back to fitness”.
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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