Fitness and Recreation Finance

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  • Inspire with the best equipment
  • Invest in the best instructors
  • Run a smooth online experience
  • Add visitor facilities
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  • Fitness industry finance since 2007
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Invest in Equipment, Refurbishment and Expansion

Commercial Gym, Sports & Activity Centre Finance

Did you know that in the UK, 73% of the population have put more value on their health over the last three years? This is data found by a UK-leading gym and is thought to be a behaviour change brought on by the 2020 pandemic. So, now more than ever, our nation is flocking to gyms, fitness centres and more classes to get their exercise fix. But how can you compete for a slice of the action?  As of 2023, there are a reported 3,496 gym and fitness centres in the UK, so how can you make your venue stand out from the crowd? Utilising fitness, recreation and gym equipment finance can help you transform your venue and service offering to increase footfall, turnover and user experience. Keep reading to find out exactly how we can help you with gym equipment finance and much more.

How does it work?

Tailored options for Commercial Gym, Sport, Fitness & Activity Centres

We know that finance can sometimes be confusing and stressful, but what we do is simple.

1. Get started in 1 minute.

Enquire without affecting your credit score.

2. Understanding your business.

A dedicated account manager will discuss your needs and collect documentation.

3. Our experts do the leg-work.

We find the right deals, complete applications on your behalf and get you a no obligation quote.

4. Your no-fuss finance is funded.

If accepted, your assets will be bought and delivered or the finance released to your account.

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Invest in the latest Equipment with dedicated Finance

Visitors to your gym and fitness centre value the best and latest equipment to get a good workout in they can feel good about. This means having variety, enough machines to minimise waiting around, and equipment to be in topnotch condition. Whether you have had a tough time bouncing back from lockdown periods or looking for a way to update your current facility offering, gym equipment finance such as hire purchase or lease finance could be a great option to elevate your gym without breaking the bank. 

For activity centres, people are looking for different experiences and family activities. Plus, with the rise of hybrid working, corporate team-building activities are becoming more important. Investing in various activity options and your centre’s facilities could keep customers happier for longer.


Finance can help you invest in the right instructors

Offering the best equipment does not mean much without a dedicated team of competent instructions on hand to help, train and push your guests. Having skilled and qualified instructors will draw customers to your gym and help them achieve the best results. This will also help you to build a loyal membership that will do the selling for you by referring friends and family. 

In an activity centre, having staff who can keep customers energised and motivated throughout their day is crucial, as well as those able to provide a smooth customer journey and cross-sell other activities. Business loans for a gym from Portman can help you invest in standout individuals that will make a real difference to your business and your customers.

Our team of experts is ready to help


Invest in your Location, Facilities & Premises

With more than 3,600 gyms in the UK, it would seem that they’re everywhere. However, there are hotspots and getting your gyms in the right locations before the competition can be exponentially beneficial in increasing your turnover and getting your brand known. 

Gyms have been popping up in different types of locations, such as old nightclubs, warehouses and industrial units. For activity centres and outdoor venues, customers are prepared to travel a little further and feeling part of nature is important. However, bumpy access tracks, poor parking and tired facilities can be off-putting. Make sure your access is good and the facilities are welcoming. Start up finance or business loans from Portman can be used to help you secure the right premises in the right location or refurbish your current site.


Finance your Online Expansion

Customers have a lot of options to choose from, and the first place they’re likely to look is online. You need a strong social media presence, a fantastic website and a great booking system. Even better, invest in a thirdparty app platform to bring you closer to your customers and create a sense of community. Deliver encouragement and frequent challenges direct to their mobiles. Add an online store for branded goods, wellbeing and nutrition products too. Digitally driven diversity is the name of the game. Portman can help you finance any new technology, from an app or website to new display screens or sound systems, with a business loan for a gym or fitness centre.

How can we support your Fitness & Recreation business

To thrive in the competitive gym and fitness centre market, it takes a degree of adaptability and creative thinking as a business owner. This is essential as the numbers increase for customers looking to get fit and get outdoors but enjoy options and some of the comforts they have at home. Sophisticated home equipment, online activities and growing options for outdoor activities will continue to make this a competitive industry. Successful business owners will be those that invest in their real world and digital footprints at the same time to deliver more memorable and engaging experiences.


Hire Purchase

To update your fitness centre with new facilities, hire purchase is the perfect solution for gym equipment finance. It means you can get the high-quality equipment you need for your site by paying VAT and a deposit upfront and then making fixed monthly payments thereafter. These monthly payments may be affected by whether you pay off the entire loan over the term or choose a final balloon payment. With hire purchase, you have the final option to purchase for a nominal fee, transferring ownership of the asset to the business.

Explore Hire Purchase

Lease Finance

For the acquisition of ‘soft assets’, such as IT equipment, vending machines or lockers for your gym or fitness centre, you may be interested in equipment leasing. This enables you to get the equipment you need without the upfront costs associated with large purchases. It works by the lender purchasing the item and the business then leasing it through fixed monthly payments over an agreed term. These finance options for gyms can also be used for premises fit-outs, furniture or even air-conditioning.

Explore Lease Finance

Business Loans

If your gym or fitness centre is in need of a cask injection to help smooth out cashflow fluctuations and take opportunities where otherwise they could be missed, learn more about business loans for gyms. This option of borrowing money is repaid in monthly instalments, including interest, over an agreed term. 

A business loan for gyms can be secured or unsecured. Portman typically provides unsecured loans, which can be more flexible and do not require collateral but are likely to require a personal guarantee. Secured loans are tied to an asset which the lender can claim ownership of if repayments are not made. These may be used in equipment refinance deals.

Explore Business Loans

Start Up Loans

Are you opening a new gym, activity or fitness centre and need a helping hand to get off the ground? Asset finance for new businesses allows you to focus on running your company and bringing in customers, confident that you have the gym equipment and facilities you need without the large initial outlay. Using gym equipment finance means that you preserve the credit card or overdraft for contingency and operating expenses when the unexpected happens.

Explore Start Up Loans

Equipment Refinance

Did you know that we offer the option to retrospectively finance high-value items? If you recently bought new gym equipment outright but would now prefer to have financed it, we can help with a sale-and-lease-back agreement. We will calculate the current value of the equipment based on the invoice as long as the item is less than three months old. After a few checks and acceptance of the term and monthly repayments, we can give you the cash equivalent of the invoice to put back into the business. You’ll then make fixed monthly payments, including interest, whilst your new gym equipment increases footfall for your business.

If your business owns highvalue assets that are not currently on finance, subject to a valuation, it is also possible to use them as security for a loan, with lenders offering a cash loan up to a % of the asset’s value.

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Recovery Loans

After the long-term effects of the 2020 pandemic, you can take advantage of a recovery loan to make sure your gym or fitness centre gets back on its feet. Businesses with turnovers up to £45m, including those who have previously benefited from the government’s CBILS, BBL or RLS, can apply.

Recovery Loans can be used for any legitimate business purpose or simply to provide cash flow. Rates are capped at 14.99%, and the government continues to guarantee 70% of the outstanding balance, giving added security to lenders who are now able to consider finance for businesses that may have previously found it difficult to obtain.

Up to £2m can be borrowed on terms from 2 to 6 years. Your personal private residence cannot be taken as security.

Explore Recovery Loans

Successful Fitness businesses protect, invest and evolve.

Unlock your potential with Portman Finance Group.

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