The concept was nothing else like Leeds has seen before.
The Leeds’ People’s Gym had been run for the people of Leeds, by the people of Leeds since opening in October 2023, but the owners have sadly announced that just three months after opening, the business has ceased trading with immediate effect.
The news was announced on Instagram with the message: “We are devastated to announce that as of 12 noon on Monday 29th January 2024.
“The Leeds People’s Gym will cease to trade with immediate effect. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we couldn’t reach enough folks quickly enough to make the business viable.
“We’d like to say a big and heartfelt ‘thank you’ to our members and supporters, without whom this journey would have been impossible. We believe in the importance of having inclusive spaces, and hope that our closure doesn’t dampen your spirits, because safe and inclusive spaces in Leeds are desperately needed now more than ever.
“We’d like to say a special thank you to some of the local groups and organisations who have supported us especially Bi+ Leeds Social Group, Mental Health Mates Leeds, Strega Running Club and Wharf Chambers.
“We will update you on how to recover any membership fees you have paid as soon as we can.
“We’re so sorry
“The whole team at The Leeds People’s Gym.”
The alternative to the usual sweaty, overly boisterous chain gyms popping up all over the city, had worked tirelessly to try and make sure everybody felt welcome inside a gym environment.
Chris Woods and Daniel Browne said upon opening: “we’ve been there, we’ve gotten to the front doors and gone straight back home, we’ve been bullied off equipment. No more. Gyms can be different, we’re different.
“Join a gym where you can access fitness without the judgement, without the intimidation, without the ego.”
And this really did feel like the alternative gym everyone needs to try out in the city.
Besides the ‘Community Wall’ set to be packed with resources for those wanting to support their local indies or residents, everything in the four-floor building has been designed to deconstruct any ‘typically toxic’ messages or experiences people may have had in other gym environments, to welcome everyone to a judgement-free workout space.
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It was clear that the entire ethos from The Leeds People’s Gym was to bring the community together and lift people’s spirits through exercise – an admirable concept Leeds was lucky to have, even if it was just for a short amount of time.
Feature Image – The Hoot Leeds