Budget gym founder rewarded with top entrepreneur award

Xercise 4 Less MD and ex-Leeds Rugby player Jon Wright
Xercise 4 Less MD and ex-Leeds Rugby player Jon Wright

THE entrepreneur behind a Yorkshire-based budget gym chain was honoured at a major awards ceremony last night, reports Deputy Business Editor Greg Wright.

Jon Wright, the chief executive of Xercise4Less, took home the Private Equity award at last night’s EY North of England Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards dinner in The Lowry Hotel, Manchester.

The judges praised “the vibrant and open culture” Mr Wright has created at the high growth business, and were impressed at how the company secured capital from the Business Growth Fund and Lloyds Bank to accelerate its growth plans.

Founded by former professional rugby player Mr Wright in 2006, Leeds-based Xercise4Less has 19 gyms, and has plans for significant further growth in the UK. Its gyms, for which membership starts at £9.99, have up to 400 pieces of equipment and host over 40 classes per week.

Stuart Watson, Yorkshire-based Partner and UK Entrepreneur Of The Year Leader at EY, said: “Having identified a niche in the competitive gym market for large-scale budget clubs, Jon’s passion, ambition and commercial acumen have been central to Xercise4Less’ impressive growth story in recent years.”

The awards dinner honoured nine business leaders across 10 categories.

Bill Holmes, the chief executive and founder of Crewe-based Radius Payment Solutions, was named overall EY North of England Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014.