The entrepreneur behind Leeds-based budget gym chain Xercise4Less took home the Private Equity award at last night’s EY North of England Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards dinner in Manchester.
The judges praised “he vibrant and open culture” chief executive Jon Wright has created at the high growth business, and were impressed at how the company secured capital from the Business Growth Fund and Lloyds Bank to accelerate its growth plans.
Founded by former professional rugby player Jon in 2006, Xercise4Less has 19 gyms, four more close to opening and plans for significant further growth in the UK.
Its gyms, for which membership starts at £9.99, have up to 400 pieces of equipment and host over 40 classes per week.
Stuart Watson, Yorkshire-based partner and UK Entrepreneur Of The Year Leader at EY, said:
“Having identified a niche in the competitive gym market for large scale budget clubs, Jon’s passion, ambition and commercial acumen have been central to Xercise4Less’ impressive growth story in recent years.
“With a supportive investor in the Business Growth Fund and recently secured capital from Lloyds Bank, the company is well positioned to accelerate this expansion over the coming years, enabling it to bring the best variety of equipment at low prices to even more customers throughout the UK.”
Held at the Lowry Hotel in Manchester, the awards dinner honoured nine business leaders across ten categories.
Each winner was judged and selected from 29 finalists leading 27 companies from across the North West, Yorkshire and North East.
All of the North of England winners will go on to represent the region at the UK finals in October 2014.
Stuart Watson said:
“Entrepreneurs are vital to a dynamic and developing economy, so it’s important that we continue to support their ambitions and celebrate their successes.
“This is particularly important in regions away from London and the South East, which will be critical in securing and sustaining the economic recovery for the whole of the UK.
“With impressive entrepreneurs like our finalists creating jobs and wealth right across the North, we can feel confident that a rebalancing of the economy can be achieved over the coming years.”