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04/06/2014

Powys fitness centre off to a Great start thanks to micro loan

A start-up health and fitness centre in Welshpool is celebrating its grand opening after receiving a micro loan of £25,000 from Finance Wales.

The loan was used to complete refurbishments of a spa treatment centre inside the gym creating a training, beauty and spa facility under one roof.

Qualified fitness instructor, Christopher Greatorex set up Greats Fitness Limited with his wife Stacey after identifying a gap in the local market for an all-in-one holistic treatment facility.

The new gym and spa which opened in May will breathe life into the town’s old cinema building which closed last year after 75 years. The Art Deco building is one of Welshpool’s landmarks.

The young couple have already invested £15,000 of their own money fitting out the gym with new equipment as well as showers and changing rooms ready for the launch.

“Having successfully run gyms in Welshpool for a number of years I decided the time was right to branch out on my own. With my wife’s background in health and beauty we decided together we could offer something unique to the local area.

“We are delighted to be open for business and the fact we’re in what was the old Pola cinema makes it even more special. The building holds a lot of memories for the town and it was very sad to see it close last year. Hopefully people will enjoy visiting it as a local health and fitness centre.

“Thanks to Finance Wales’ loan we have been able to complete all parts of the facility so we can now offer a gym, spa, sauna, steam room and beauty treatments all in one place,” Greatorex explained.

Finance Wales Investment Executive, Gaynor Morris said:

“As a qualified instructor who has successfully run gyms in the area before, Christopher was able to put together a strong business case for investment. Christopher and Stacey are both passionate about helping people to keep fit, relax and feel good about themselves and thanks to Finance Wales, Greats Fitness is offering excellent local facilities to help people in the area do just that.   

“As an added bonus the business is based in the unique setting of the town’s much loved Pola cinema, allowing a local landmark to continue to serve its community.”

£1,000 - £50,000 micro loans are available from Finance Wales from the £6 million Wales Micro-business Loan Fund as well as the European-backed £150 million Wales JEREMIE Fund. They can help with a range of investment needs, including start-up costs, capital expenditure and stock purchases. Businesses often use them to unlock much-needed additional investment. Finance Wales has a streamlined application process which ensures it can be responsive to businesses’ needs.