Worthing gym’s future secured by ‘incredibly generous’ donation

A Worthing gym has had its immediate future secured by a generous donation from a Lancing businessman.

The Bar Gym, in Bath Place, has been a central hub in the community for years, regularly offering free memberships and training alongside other social projects.

Owners Nick Brewer and Mike O’Hagan have already pumped thousands of pounds of their own money into the charity, but forced closure during the pandemic left them in dire straits.

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With the pair questioning whether they could afford to reopen after lockdown, Lancing businessman and long-time friend James Randall offered to help out.

James Randall with his son SUS-200629-133406001

The 35-year-old has donated £30,000 of his own money to the gym, securing its immediate future.

“Everything was dead but we still had bills to pay, so James coming along at this time is incredible.” said Nick.

“It’s incredibly generous and perfect timing. It means we can not just survive, but get new equipment and just make the place better and ready to open all singing and all dancing.”

An initial £20,000 injection has catered for 12 months of the gym’s rent and overheads, while a further £10,000 will go towards new equipment and a makeover.

(Left to right) Mike O'Hagan, Brooke Snowsill, Ryan Brewer, Nick Brewer and Callum Brewer SUS-190226-134557001

With many gyms and businesses sadly struggling to survive during the forced closure, Nick said the Bar Gym would emerge from lockdown in a better position than when it entered.

He said the plan is to offer a discount scheme for NHS staff and continue to forge links with local community groups and charities, including sufferers of motor neurone disease.

James co-founded one of the UK’s largest private parking ticket collection companies, but after selling it in November found he was directionless and depressed.

He said Nick’s encouragement to exercise at the Bar Gym pulled him through, so he wanted to give back.

“They’re such selfless guys who, for years, have been taking nothing from the business and really struggling to keep it open, while they put so much time and effort into it,” he said.

He added he would be taking an active role in making the gym more sustainable, attracting more members and allowing it to expand its community work.