May 22, 2024

Conwy fitness instructor opens second gym as business booms

Lock Stock; Llandudno ; Lee Hanson, North Wales coast sites manager with Jamie Bowen of Ignite Gym . Picture Mandy Jones

A Conwy mobile fitness instructor who switched to supplying exercise equipment in lockdown has now just opened his second gym and business is booming.

Jamie Bowen invested in gym machines stored in units at the giant Lock Stock Storage Park in Llandudno Junction and shipped to fitness fanatics for use at home.

Demand soared and when lockdown eased the 34-year-old opened a new Ignite gym in Llandudno’s Oxford Road and he’s opened a second on Church Road in Rhos on Sea.

They are attractively designed and lit, boast the latest fitness equipment including a Stairmaster which makes you feel you’ve climbed Snowdon in four minutes, open seven days a week and are on course for over 80,000 customers a year.

Jamie said: “I got into fitness as it was something I enjoyed and was eager to help others and coming from being a bit overweight I felt I could really help people in the same position.

“I got my qualifications and was doing mobile sessions back in 2017 when I had to give up my driving licence for a couple of years due to illness.

“I sold my car to fund my first unit to hold fitness classes and installed a few gym machines and then in lockdown I started renting out the equipment to locals to use in their homes to stay fit and saw an opportunity to rent more widely and afterwards I saw that gyms further afield wanted gym equipment so jumped on this.

“I sold the machines in my gym, generated extra money and started buying more equipment and it snowballed from there but I needed extra storage fast and turned to Lock Stock to help me out.

“I stored new and reconditioned gym equipment in 40-foot units at Lock Stock’s site in Llandudno Junction for sale and rental – rental had helped a lot of people who couldn’t afford to buy keep themselves fit and active in lockdown.”

When restrictions eased James had a success story on his hands and he opened a plush new gym in Llandudno in 2022 and then a second new gym in Rhos on Sea last year and he now employs six people and has plans for further openings.

Lock Stock Regional Sites Manager Lee Hanson is a keen outdoors type and he likes to work out as well and he’s been delighted to see Ignite’s business grow.

He said: “It’s amazing how many businesses operate from our units – we know that they account for about 40 per cent of our rentals and while most are self-employed people in the building trade who store their materials and equipment in their units, many are taken by people like Jamie.

“He can store stock here and as we are accessible 24/7 via keyless code at all our sites so he can take deliveries at any time and then install new machines in his gyms or sell or rent to customers who want to be able to work out at home.

“Ignite is a great business, excellent facilities and top quality equipment and they’re doing really well so we’re pleased to have played a part in their success.”

Jamie added: “The gym has created a really strong community and people have found lifelong friends here.

“We see people come in after having a bad day and leave feeling amazing. It is really so much more than just a gym and we want to keep this going in more areas because we could see there was a gap in the market for a good, well-equipped modern gym and it has grown from there.

“This year has really started well. January is always a really busy time and we get people of all ages. Of course they want to get fit but it’s really good for mental health as well and many come just for that.

“I want our gyms to be nice places to be. Spit and sawdust are things of the past – we’ve got a special posing room for people to look their best, merchandise and sunbeds because our customers want to look good as well as feel good.”

Lock Stock, founded in Denbigh in 1999, is the UK’s largest containerised storage company with almost 4,500 units providing over four million cubic feet of space at storage parks across North and Mid Wales and the border counties.

Their existing sites stretch from Holyhead and along the North Wales coast at Porthmadog, Caernarfon, Bangor, Llandudno, Abergele and Rhyl, on the Dee at Flint, Saltney and Deeside and inland at Denbigh, Mold, Buckley, Wrexham and Newtown in Powys, at Oswestry and Shrewsbury in Shropshire and at Huyton, in Liverpool.

The company estimate that 60 per cent of their containers are rented by people moving house or keeping treasured possessions but almost 2,000 of their containers are used by small businesses for storing stock and materials.

Lee added: “Businesses, especially small businesses use our sites because they have storage needs and with three different sizes of units they’re ideal whether people are looking to grow or to downsize.

“We respond to demand and where it is coming from and if it is from an area where we need more capacity then we look at opening somewhere new or extending our existing premises.”

Lock Stock also specialise in the off-site hire of containers, delivered to your location by their specialist lorry and hired on a month by month basis.

The containers are 10, 20 and 40 feet in length.

They can also use their lorry to relocate a container, contents and all, to a different Lock Stock site in the event of a house or business move.

For more on Ignite Gyms go to https://www.ignitegymnw.com/ and for information about Lock Stock Self Storage including off-site container hire contact them on 01745 817178 or go to https://lockstock.biz/