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GSquared set for Royal Exchange bow

Neil Tague

The start-up gym brand is to open its first location in the 12,000 sq ft former Branagans unit in Manchester’s Royal Exchange on 21 June.

According to the GSquared Health Clubs website, it has two further Manchester sites going through planning.

The company also plans to open in Liverpool, Leeds, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh

The gym’s total footprint at the landmark building, in a space accessed from the Royal Exchange’s central shopping arcade, is 12,000 sq ft, with the space including an indoor running track, a 20m sled track, performance room, free weights area and an assault course, full free motion cable suite and a bouldering wall. Designs were led in-house.

Once occupied by the bar – not connected to the similarly named Brannigans chain, which used to have a lotio on Peter Street – the space has been empty form some years.

Place North West understands a deal was all set for the site in early 2018, but with planning and listed building consents required for works, and then the Covid pandemic pushing things back further, it has taken three years to reach opening.

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Although the space occupied would normally support a membership of 3,500 to 4,000, the operator said it has chosen to limit membership to 400 initially, with a longer term membership size of 800. There are three tiers of membership, executive, platinum and platinum plus.

Chief executive Andy McGlynn said: “We are complex beings, it is simply not enough to walk into a gym and train physically on equipment.

“We are going to ramp up every aspect of your life for you as well as raise your awareness, to ensure you’re utilising your time as optimally as you can.”

“There are certain criteria that we created, one being stunning interior, so it’s got to overwhelm the senses, bringing as much nature as possible into the space.”

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