Study identifies untapped UK fitness markets

09 Apr 2019

By: Sport Industry Group

East Surrey is the area of the UK with the greatest scope for growth in the provision of fitness and wellness services, according to new research from MINDBODY, a specialist business management software provider for the fitness sector.

Other places offering strong potential for newcomers in 2019 are Croydon, Northamptonshire, Wyre Forest, Kensington, Harrow, Broxbourne, West Lindsey, Derby, and Glasgow.

None of the top 10 locations on the list currently boasts more than five dedicated fitness facilities (classed as gyms, leisure centres, studios or swimming pools) per 100,000 members of its population.

By contrast, Allerdale in Cumbria, which tops the equivalent list for the most saturated areas, is home to 137 such facilities for every 100,000 people.

Other well served areas include St. Albans, Hertfordshire (58); City of Westminster, London (51); Gateshead, Tyne and Wear (43); Runnymede, Surrey (43); Warwick, West Midlands (38) ; Erewash, Derbyshire (36); Ipswich, Suffolk (35); Brighton and Hove, East Sussex (32); and Epsom and Ewell, Surrey (31).

The findings are the outcome of a Freedom of Information request submitted by MINDBODY to councils across the country in an effort to inform new and expanding businesses of where there is saturation and the highest demand.

Commenting on the findings, Charlotte Newton, Senior Manager EMEA Marketing at MINDBODY, said: “We know from our data and from speaking with our customers that the fitness landscape is constantly evolving. London’s boutique fitness market is booming, but this is now something we’re seeing spread across the country."

MINDBODY's digtial platforms are used by entrepreneurs and businesses in the health and fitness sector.

Kevin Teague, MD and SVP MINDBODY, EMEA, said: “An indication of where there is an appetite for fitness services can also be shown in our own booking data. The figures show users of the MINDBODY app are booking over 283,193 classes and appointments at fitness operators each month on average in the UK and Ireland, which is an increase of 39% year on year.

“Looking closely at individual regions also tells us something about the trajectory of the industry. For example, outside of London, a staggering 99,631 classes were booked on the MINDBODY app each month, which indicates further that there is opportunity outside of London for a fitness business to succeed, so It’s not surprising that the FOI data also point to this.”