By Grainne Cuffe, native democracy reporter
An award-winning group health club in Deptford began making its personal gear to suit into individuals’s houses or places of work to create a “pandemic-proof” factor to its enterprise.
Commando Temple, positioned beneath three arches of the Greenwich to London Bridge rail hyperlink, additionally rented out £50,000 of its gear in a bid to outlive the previous 12 months.
Founder Rob Blair, who served within the Royal Marines for eight years, instructed the native democracy service that when the pandemic hit, about half of the health club’s membership stayed on so the enterprise didn’t must take out “devastating loans”.
“I can’t even emphasise how vital that was as a result of in any other case we must have doubtlessly began taking loans out.
“However we didn’t as a result of the group rallied spherical and stored the memberships open,” Rob mentioned.
The health club, which in 2015 received the Lewisham Enterprise Awards greatest new enterprise, specialises in power coaching and martial arts.
It opened up once more throughout the summer time however has been closed for 10 of the previous 13 months.
According to lockdown easing steering, Commando Temple has opened up at present (April 12). Authorities grant funding has additionally helped renovate the health club for members to take pleasure in as they arrive again.
Rob mentioned: “We’ve been simply scraping by. The renovation is exhibiting our prospects that we’re not simply sitting on our arse doing nothing.
“We’ve been capable of reinvest it again into the area and to get individuals enthusiastic about coming again.”
Rob additionally praised the health club’s landlord, the Arch Firm.
“They’ve been very supportive of us up till this level,” he mentioned.
The individuals who continued to pay their memberships additionally saved Rob numerous fear.
“We had sufficient that we didn’t must take out devasting loans – it made positive we have been capable of sleep at night time with out worrying an excessive amount of.
“Quite a lot of different companies haven’t made it, even multi-million pound companies have struggled.
“We’re a small health club in Deptford – in some methods we’ve been capable of make issues work higher as a result of we’re a small impartial and we’ve bought a loyal base, reasonably than a giant chain.
“However we’ve additionally needed to be actually inventive to be sure that we’re capable of come again. The health club is being renovated.
“We’ve additionally labored on a one other factor throughout lockdown – making our personal equipment and gear. That’s referred to as the Commando Dice and one thing that can hopefully be pandemic proof.
“The concept is that if somebody’s bought a storage or workplace area, we’ll be capable to construct in a self-sufficient health club, simply in case this occurs once more or in case they don’t need to come again to the health club,” he mentioned.
On what the plan is from right here, Rob mentioned: “To open on Monday and never develop any extra gray hairs than I at present have, attempt to get some sleep, and spend extra time with my ten-month outdated daughter.
“Most of our members have been messaging us and might’t wait to get again.”
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