Last session for Belfast gym members as Sports Direct closes Everlast Gym on Boucher Road

A POPULAR south Belfast gymnasium, owned by the group behind Sports Direct, will close next Sunday.

Everlast Gym staff at 24 Boucher Road were notified of the closure on Monday, and members were informed the next day that the site would cease operations.

The gymnasium, which also operated under the DW banner before being taken over by the Fraser Group, has a large membership and is also used by third-party clubs and coaches for its swimming pool.

About 30 staff members work in the gymnasium.

It is understood that the owners, Fraser Group, led by Mike Ashley, are “exploring” the possibility of a new outlet to replace the closure.

Irish News contacted the band for comment, but did not respond.

Corbo Properties, which owns the neighboring unit of M&S Simply Food, Home Bargains and Pets at Home, is said to have reserved the site for commercial use.

The company did not respond to requests for additional information.

Balmoral Plaza, where Everlast Gym is located, comprises eight individual retail units.

Located near Boucher Road, it is one of the city’s most popular shopping destinations. The park was developed by Corbo in 2005 and spans over 60,000 square feet.

The gym site was rebranded as Everlast Gym when DW Sports was acquired by Fraser Group in August 2020.

The £37million deal saw a rebranding exercise of the Boucher Plaza unit.

Sports Direct has owned the Everlast gym brand since 2007.

At the time of DW’s demise, BDO administrators said 46 of DW’s clubs and 31 of its retail outlets had been sold to Frasers, saving around 922 jobs in the UK.

Frasers’ spokesperson said at the time: “Frasers Group is delighted to elevate the gym and fitness assets acquired in the transaction under the group’s existing iconic Everlast brand, and is also pleased to saved a number of jobs.”

But those plans for the Belfast site were cut short.

The unit housing Everlast Gym at Balmoral Plaza also houses the Brand Max store on the first floor.

It is not yet known if this store will also close.

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