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Fitness firm with gyms in Aberdeen and Inverness enters administration after Covid struggle

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A fitness firm with gyms in Aberdeen and Inverness has entered administration with 1,700 jobs across the UK now at risk.

DW Sports, which also operates dozens of shops, had premises at Beach Boulevard in Aberdeen and at Inverness Retail Park.

The company’s website has ceased trading and a spokesman said it would work with administrators to save as many of its gyms as possible, however all of its shops would eventually close.

The company, which was founded by former Wigan Athletic owner Dave Whelan, operated 73 gyms and 75 stores across the UK.

Chief executive, Martin Long, said: “As a consequence of Covid-19, we found ourselves in a position where we were mandated by government to close down both our retail store portfolio and our gym chain in its entirety for a protracted period, leaving us with a high fixed-cost base and zero income.

“The decision to appoint administrators has not been taken lightly but will give us the best chance to protect viable parts of the business, return them to profitability, and secure as many jobs as possible.”

Mr Long said in April that the firm’s income normally totals around £15 million a month, but that it had fallen to zero – while it still had a £3m monthly wage bill.

Meanwhile, Moray Council has reminded people that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement about reopening leisure centres in the middle of next month was “not a confirmed date”and will be kept under review.

The local authority added that planning was under way to prepare the facilities ahead of them being able to welcome back customers.

A council spokesman added: “When we do re-open our leisure and sports facilities, to ensure the safety of our staff and the public there will be a new programme of cleaning that could affect timetables for classes and the capacity of some venues.

“There will also be a new booking system to allow traceability of all users should a local outbreak of Covid-19 occur.”

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