Rishi Sunak visits Richmond gym after reopening

Rishi Sunak on one of the club’s exercise bikes with fitness instructor Emma Blackmore.

Rishi Sunak has praised the work of a gym working hard to help its members get fitter after the months of lockdown.

Richmond’s Liberty Health Club re-opened on July 25 with a complete range of Covid-19 security measures in place to protect its customers and staff.

The Richmond MP visited the club, which is run by the Richmondshire Leisure Trust charity, to see how the gym and the adjacent swimming pool  – also run by the Trust – were faring.

For the re-opening the club introduced a limit on numbers, a booking system for peak periods, disinfection of equipment between individual sessions and customers are asked to wear masks on entering the building.

Mr Sunak said: “The Trust and the staff have put a tremendous amount of thought and work into making sure they could open safely.

“The club is well-equipped and organised. Customers can be really confident that they can work-out safely. I would recommend anyone who has put on a few pounds during lockdown to come down here where the staff are waiting to tailor a programme for them.”

Mr Sunak was shown round the club’s facilities by fitness instructor Emma Blackmore and also met the staff at the club’s beauty room run by Sara Smith. It reopened earlier this month.

Mr Sunak spoke to the Trust’s chairman Andy White and finance director David Chefnaux about the charity’s financial future.

Although the Trust has received almost £200,000 in Government support – furlough payments to 60 staff and grants of £60,000 – it expects to have a deficit by the end of the financial year. The Trust is examining ways to minimise costs and maximise its revenues to close the gap.