An expanding North East fitness firm is strengthening its market position by making a £600,000 investment in refurbishing its flagship Gateshead gym.

Vision Health & Fitness has upgraded it 27,000 sq ft gym on the Sands Industrial Estate in Swalwell by bringing in a range of Olympic-standard Eleiko training equipment and becoming the only North East centre of excellence for Team ICG Indoor Cycling Group, the world’s largest indoor cycling equipment specialist.

The new investment follows the opening 12 months ago of Vision’s second state-of-the-art training facility, a £1.3m, 20,000 sq ft gym on Crowhall Road in Cramlington which offers over 200 pieces of equipment, a 20m sprint track and more than 200 exercise classes every month.

The management team is now aiming to consolidate Vision’s market position through 2020, with both the Gateshead and Cramlington facilities moving to 24-hour opening in the next few months, and plans to open its next North East gym by the end of the year.

And the business, which now employs 30 people, is on track to achieve its goal of becoming a major player in the regional health and fitness industry by reaching a 20-strong gym portfolio within the next seven years.

Rachel Warriner, head of corporate tax at RMT Accountants & Business Advisors, is working with the Vision Health & Fitness management team on the business’s current expansion and future development plans.

The company was founded 13 years ago by Mark Clauzel, a former boxer and kick boxer who was forced to retire through injury at the age of 31, and who then decided to put his knowledge of the fitness industry to commercial use.

Mark and business partner Jason Atherton have grown the business by developing a model which encourages maximum member retention rates, while also directly employing their own trainers and instructors to ensure they are working to Vision’s specific standards.

Mark Clauzel, managing director at Vision Health & Fitness, says: “Both Gateshead and Cramlington traded very successfully last year and we’re continuing to refine what we offer our customers to make sure we’re providing the quality of service, environment and equipment that they need.

“We do a lot of work on our customer journey, identifying why members join, stay and move on from their gyms, and keep updating what we’re providing to help ensure we keep the maximum number of people on our books.

“The positive impact for members of the investment in Gateshead is clear to see and the move we’re planning to 24-hour opening in the coming months both here and in Cramlington will be another major step forward.

“We’re focusing this year to making sure the two gyms are operating as well as possible, but we also have locations in mind for what we want to do next and have a clear path towards establishing the Vision brand right across the North East over the next few years.

“Rachel and the RMT team provide us with excellent advice and guidance on the right strategies for growth and financial efficiency, and their input will be central to the next stages of our development.”

Rachel Warriner adds: ” Vision has created a very customer-centred fitness offering that is clearly reaping rewards and we’re very pleased to be helping to shape and implement their future scale-up plans.