Business

Final session for Belfast gym members as Sports Direct closes Everlast gym on Boucher Road

The Everlast gym facility on the Boucher Road in Belfast that is due to close next week. Picture: Mal McCann
Emma Deighan

A POPULAR south Belfast gym, owned by the group behind Sports Direct, will close its doors next Sunday.

Staff at Everlast Gym at 24 Boucher Road were notified of the closure on Monday, with members told the next day that the venue would cease trading.

The gym, which also ran under the DW banner before it was bought over by Fraser Group, has a large member base and is also used by third party clubs and coaches for its swimming pool facility.

There are around 30 members of staff working at the gym.

It is understood owners, Fraser Group, which is headed by Mike Ashley, is “exploring” the possibility of a new outlet to replace the closure.

Irish News reached out to the Group for comment, but it did not respond.

Corbo Properties, which owns the unit neighboured by M&S Simply Food, Home Bargains and Pets at Home, is believed to have earmarked the site for retail use.

The company did not respond to requests for more information.

Balmoral Plaza, where Everlast Gym is located, comprises eight individual retail units.

Situated off Boucher Road, it is one of the city's most popular edge of town shopping destinations. The park was developed by Corbo in 2005 and extends to over 60,000 sq ft.

The gym site was rebranded as an Everlast gym when DW Sports was bought over by Fraser Group in August 2020.

The £37m deal saw a rebranding exercise of the Boucher Plaza unit.

Sports Direct has owned the Everlast gym brand since 2007.

At the time of DW's demise, administrators BDO said 46 of the DW clubs and 31 of its retail outlets had been sold to Frasers, saving around 922 jobs around the UK.

At spokesperson at Frasers said at the time: "Frasers Group looks forward to elevating the gym and fitness assets acquired pursuant to the transaction under the group's existing iconic Everlast brand, and is also pleased to have saved a number of jobs."

But those plans for the Belfast site have been cut short.

The unit housing Everlast Gym at Balmoral Plaza also hosts the Brand Max store on its first floor.

Is is not known yet if this store will close too.

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