A Wasps rugby player is co-launching a new personalised fitness studio in Leamington after going into business with a successful gym owner.
Ben Harris, the 31-year-old prop who helped the Black and Golds to a second-place finish in last season’s Gallagher Premiership – is behind a new joint venture called Studio Worx.
The fitness studio – which is creating eight jobs – will be based on Livery Street in Regent Court, and is set to open its doors in January after finalising a ten-year lease with property consultancy Wareing & Company.
Ben is opening the studio alongside experienced entrepreneur and gym-goer Jack Gibson, who has launched five of his own gyms over the last seven years under the Fitness Worx brand, which has a presence in Kenilworth, Warwick, Southam, Bidford and Shrewsbury.
And despite the success of Jack’s gym empire – which now has more than 1,000 memberships combined – the 30-year-old is keen to stress that the Leamington studio will be adopting a different approach.
Jack said: “Unlike Fitness Worx, our Leamington base won’t be a gym, but more of a place where our members can come to embark on their own body transformation programme, under the guidance of a qualified fitness instructor.
“We will have space for up to 120 members to embark on their own physical journey – whether it is losing body fat, building body strength, improving cardiovascular fitness or a combination.
“I’ve become good friends with Ben as we both go to the gym together in Kenilworth – and when I suggested the concept of a boutique style fitness studio he was really supportive.
“The idea for Studio Worx came about because I’d noticed that a lot more people wanted the benefits of going to a gym that had a private feel about it – and our concept for Leamington has been vindicated so far, as we have had 80 sign-ups ahead of launching.”
For Ben, Studio Worx provides a welcome challenge away from the pitch in preparation for life after rugby.
Ben added: “I have always wanted to open a gym, and in Jack I have the ideal business partner to learn from and make this a success.
“Lockdown gave us the time to press ahead with developing our plans, and it soon became apparent that there was a gap in the market for a smaller high street-based fitness destination which you see quite often in bigger cities such as London.
“I’m really excited to get the business up and running, and it will certainly help me to prepare for later life when I eventually decide to retire from elite level rugby.”
Jonathan Blood, of Wareing & Company, helped Ben and Jack to find a suitable location for their business, and believes Studio Worx’s impending arrival is coup for Leamington.
He added: “Variety is key to the success of any town centre, and Studio Worx provides that with a different approach to fitness.
“Memberships for the studio are growing already, which will boost footfall into the town centre which will hopefully have a positive knock-on effect for neighbouring businesses.”