HiLife gym taken a down-turn

OFFICIAL receivers have been called in to a Suffolk gym which is part of a chain that never made a profit, the Evening Star can reveal today.But today the manager of HiLife in Ipswich said despite the blow, it was business as usual with new investment on the way.

By Tracey Sparling

By TRACEY SPARLING

tracey.sparling@eveningstar.co.uk

OFFICIAL receivers have been called in to a Suffolk gym which is part of a chain that never made a profit, the Evening Star can reveal today.


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But today the manager of HiLife in Ipswich said despite the blow, it was business as usual with new investment on the way.

HiLife (Ipswich) Ltd at Cardinal Park, is one of nine associated companies under the HiLife banner which have gone into administration under the Insolvency Act 1986. The list includes HiLife branches at Basingstoke, Leighton Buzzard and Redditch.

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The group had aimed to develop a chain of up to 40 health and fitness clubs, targeting customers who had not previously considered joining a health club. But that was not achieved, and the group never operated at a profit.

RSM Robson Rhodes, a city accountancy firm, was appointed administrator for Highlife Holdings Plc and its subsidiaries which went into administration in October.

The firm proposes to continue the administration process until remaining assets have been sold, and creditors are invited to discuss that plan at a meeting in London next Wednesday.

After that has been done, RSM Robson Rhodes will ask for the company to be placed into compulsory liquidation.

Directors of HiLife have not yet given formal statements of how much is owed, but the books show liabilities totalling £2.8m.

RSM decided to keep the clubs running until buyers can be found, but during ten weeks they lost an estimated £58,000.

A total of 65 information packs were sent out to potential buyers, but problems with the landlords' leases put many off.

Eventually six clubs were sold for a total of £300,000.

Ipswich club manager Angela Jessup said the club is now owned by Energie Fitness Ltd – which also owns the former HiLife club at Leighton Buzzard.

She said there had been no job cuts, and added: "There has been new investment and it is looking very positive.

"We are expecting new equipment next week, and have a revamp of the wet area planned."

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