Fitness brand set to expand across Wirral

Fitness franchise Transform Hub opens new hub in Wirral with funding from Bathgate Business Finance with two more sites planned for the borough. Tony McDonough reports

Transform Hub
From left Nick Hodson, Transform Hub, Ian Adams, Bathgate, Jamie Leighton, Transform Hub. Picture by Andrew AB Photography


Entrepreneurs Nick Hodson and Jamie Leighton have opened a new fitness hub in Wirral and plan to open two more in the borough.

Transform Hub is a franchised fitness brand that already operates 20 UK fitness centres, primarily in the North West. Now Nick and Jamie have opened the first Wirral branch at Lake Enterprise Park in Bromborough with cash support from Bathgate Business Finance in West Kirby.

Bathgate, which often acts as the broker for other lenders and funders, is backing the venture with £32,000 of its own cash. This money has been used to buy equipment including free weights, resistance, and cardio machines.

Nick Hodson has more than 25 years’ experience running a family-owned healthcare recruitment business and as a business consultant. Jamie Leighton has been a personal trainer and professional coach since 2009.

Transform Hub offers personal training in a group setting, nutritional advice, a fun and community-focused environment and coaching to provide accountability and help clients stay on track.

As a franchise model, Transform Hub, also offers potential business owners the chance to purchase its method of setting up and running a successful fitness business.

Nick said: “We sought external funding to support the launch of our first Transform Hub in order to preserve some headroom for working capital, which is always a challenge with a new business.

“We approached three different funders and Bathgate’s process was the simplest by far. Once approved the cash was in our account and ready to use when we needed it.”

Jamie added: “Transform Hub is unique in that we’re not targeting ‘gym bunnies’ but rather people who have tried lots of different diets and gym programmes without success.”

In September 2023 Bathgate was named winner in two categories at the prestigious NACFB Commercial Broker Awards 2023 – the SME Champion and Service Excellence award.

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And in October 2023 the firm won the Professional Services Business of the Year at the Merseyside Independent Business Awards.

Bathgate director Ian Adams also said: “Transform Hub’s business plan demonstrated a unique offer for customers, a sophisticated and considered sales process, and sound basis for a successful franchise model.

“Nick and Jamie’s extensive combined experience in both business ownership and development and the fitness sector also makes this an exciting venture for Bathgate to support.”

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