Formby-based MGYM Personal Training, an independent gym owned by an ex-professional footballer, has expanded following a funding package from Santander Business Banking.

The business is owned by Michael Girvan, an ex-professional footballer for Wigan Athletic, who began working at the gym as a personal trainer in 2014. He purchased the business three years ago, during which time he has doubled its membership, turnover and profit.

Michael has ambitious growth plans for his business and has used the funding package from Santander to purchase a property on Church Road, Formby, four times the size of his previous gym. The 4,500 square-foot facility spans two floors, making more room for specialist equipment and additional classes and treatments including yoga, callisthenics, sports massage, child fitness and nutrition. He also plans to recruit four local professionals to run the gym’s new specialty classes and treatments.

Despite operating from a small one-room unit in Formby Business Park, the gym grew under Michael’s ownership to become the largest personal training business in Formby. With members ranging in age from 12 to 70, the gym’s growth reflects the UK’s growing appetite for fitness and wellbeing services.

Michael Girvan, Managing Director, MGYM Personal Training commented: “As the owner and proprietor of MGYM, it’s been a real pleasure to work with Santander in establishing my new gym. This is a key step in my business plan, and it will allow MGYM to offer more services as a fitness centre to our local community.”

Jack Buck, Business Relationship Director, Santander UK, added: “Michael has developed MGYM into a well-established and valued organisation in the local community, offering a unique environment for learning about health, exercise and wellbeing. Due to increased demand, it was clear that the business had outgrown its current premises. I’m delighted that with the funding package we’ve put together, we could support Michael’s growth ambitions, resulting in the purchase and development of the new site. It’s going to really add value to its current members while allowing expansion into new bespoke and specialised services.”

Research shows that gym goers across Europe are on the rise, with the continental market reported to be worth around £24 billion1. The UK is ranked second in terms of revenues and has the third highest number of gym facilities available, behind Switzerland and Ireland.