AN INDEPENDENT gym owner feared he would never open again after lockdown placed the future of his business in jeopardy.

Tim Beswick, co-owns and runs The Iron Kingdom Gym, Mapplewell.

Like many businesses, Tim was forced to close the gym in March at the height of the coronavirus pandemic – and had fears that it would be the last time he would enter the gym.

“The whole time we were in lockdown, I had fears that the gym would remain closed. I kept thinking ‘if we don’t open soon we will never open again’.

“I think a lot of small and independent business are struggling because we still have to pay for our premises but we haven’t had any money coming in. Its not like other jobs where you can be put on furlough.”

Despite the setbacks, Tim welcomed the news that gyms can reopen, and said that if it is done correctly he sees no reason why the atmosphere would be unsafe.

“I think gyms are safe enough to reopen safely. If they can reopen schools and shopping centres then gyms won’t be any less safe.

“There isn’t enough data to show that gyms are a breeding ground for the virus. In my opinion, people need exercise to remain healthy which could increase their chances of beating the virus.

“We have introduced lots of safety measures such as blocking off every other piece of equipment, and having wipes and cleaning spray next to the equipment.

“I see no reason why people can’t come to the gym and be safe.

“We want to reopen and stay open, and we want our patrons to be safe.”