Statement from Glenn Earlam, CEO.
24th June 2020
Glenn Earlam, CEO, David Lloyd Clubs said: “We’re surprised by the Government’s decision to not allow health clubs and gyms to open in England along with much of the leisure sector on 4 July , and we join the fitness industry sector in expressing our disappointment. We know many of our members will be bitterly disappointed too - 80% have told us that they are ready and looking forward to getting back into their clubs.
At this time, gyms and health clubs are more important than ever. Mental and physical fitness is proven to enhance the immune system, protecting people from Covid-19 and illnesses generally. Indeed at a Covid-19 Government briefing, the Chief Medical Advisor was quoted as saying that ‘anything that can be done to encourage – and to allow – people to take exercise is clearly a good thing’. So we cannot understand why other leisure sectors have been prioritised over gyms and health clubs.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been planning and testing safety and social distancing measures in our clubs. By creatively using our space, we’ve been able to redesign our club layouts to make sure that social distancing can be easily met.We’re doubling the workout areas in most clubs by using tennis courts as second gyms and have reduced group exercise numbers, moving classes outdoors for extra space where possible. Our international sites have all been reopened and we have opened outdoor group exercise, tennis and kids clubs in England and Northern Ireland. We are confident that we can operate safely within Government guidelines.
Our industry supports and improves the physical and mental wellbeing of nearly ten million people in the UK, so we look forward to exploring ways of working with the Government to reopen as soon as possible.”
About David Lloyd Leisure Group
David Lloyd Leisure is Europe’s largest health and fitness group and operates 112 clubs - 98 clubs in the UK and a further 14 clubs across Europe, comprising its two brands David Lloyd Clubs and Harbour Clubs (of which there are three - Chelsea, Notting Hill and Kensington).
In 2017 it acquired 14 UK health and racquets clubs from Virgin Active as well as opened its third Harbour Club at Kensington following a £5.5m investment and redevelopment programme. It also announced it had bough ta further three clubs - The Park Club in Chiswick, London, The Academy Club in Harrogate and Malaspina Health and Racquets Club in Milan. In January 2018 it announced it has exchanged contracts to acquire City Green Health and Sporting Club near Geneva.
It has approximately 580,000 members and employs around 8100 people. This includes an expert health and fitness team of over 2000 while it contracts the services of more than 680 tennis professionals.
Across all clubs, David Lloyd Leisure has over 180 swimming pools (of which half are indoor) and offers over 13,000 exercise classes per week.
Every week over 25,000 children learn to swim at David Lloyd Leisure, 16000 children learn to play in the Tennis All Stars Coaching Programme. David Lloyd Club’s racquets facilities are unparalleled with over 1000 tennis courts as well as over 400 badminton and squash courts. Additional facilities include health and beauty spas, club lounges with free internet access, crèches, nurseries and specialist sports shops.