Innovative gym named as ‘One to Watch’

Named as ‘Ones to Watch’ in the realm of ‘Open Health Innovation’ as part of Growth Platform’s #AmbitiousLCRList, Barerooms have ingeniously reimagined the conventional gym encounter.

They have pioneered an innovative concept, targeting people seeking entry to exclusive, fully outfitted fitness and recreation rooms.

Recognizing the formidable challenge of removing the myriad obstacles that impede people’s access to fitness within the confines of traditional open-plan gyms and classes, Barerooms strived to engineer an inventive environment catering to a broader spectrum of visitors.

The typical layout of conventional gyms, lacking in privacy, contributes to the discomfort many experience when entering unfamiliar classes where they may not know anyone.

Barerooms endeavoured to devise a remedy — a hybrid fitness and strength area — crafted to extend an invitation to those typically marginalized from gym settings, initiating their journey toward improved fitness and well-being.

Barerooms secured funding from the High Growth Innovation Funds through the LCR High Growth Programme facilitated by the Growth Platform.

The venue features custom-designed zones, including an innovative area referred to as a ‘Power Pod.’ Within these exclusive fitness and leisure compartments, individuals have access to a comprehensive array of equipment and technology, catering to solitary workout sessions.

This empowers members to select from an assortment of strength, training, cardio, or mobility exercises.

When newly opened, Barerooms co-owner Wayne Hughes told Birkenhead News, “Many people simply don’t have room at home to store and use exercise equipment and have anxiety about joining a gym where everyone can watch as you train.”

Wayne said, “We are trying to address a problem that many people face and that’s their reluctance to go to gyms, approx. one-third of the population won’t go to a gym as they basically don’t know how to use equipment or have just general gym anxiety.”

The introduction of hybrid spaces also extends a welcoming opportunity to those who may feel less self-assured in communal gym environments, offering a secure and private setting to experiment with new activities, such as boxing or golf.

As well as being one of the first inductees to the #AmbitiousLCRList in June, Birkenhead based Barerooms Limited were also named as ‘Tourism and Leisure StartUp of the Year’ at the 2023, Start up Awards celebrating the best new business from across the North west, and are continuing to build on their success.

Wayne Hughes, told Growth Platform , “The LCR High Growth Programme has been an incredibly positive experience and a massive boost to our business. It has allowed us to bring to life what we envisioned Barerooms as a business to be.

“As a business we wanted to showcase what the fitness and activity industry could be, encourage inclusivity, participation and remove barriers.”

“We are now able to offer our existing members so much more; we’ve already seen an increase in memberships and interest attracting new customers on a daily basis.”

“For a new business raising capital is incredibly difficult, and this has helped us as a business to focus exclusively on our project aims and objectives, reaching individuals who may never have considered entering a mainstream gym or recreational facility.

“The programme has allowed us to grow and progress quicker and stronger than would have been possible on our own and the support and advice we have had throughout the process has been invaluable to us.”

The LCR High Growth Programme was specifically designed to support high-growth (or high-growth potential) businesses in the Liverpool City Region to adapt, innovate, and grow.

The High Growth Innovation Fund is part of the LCR High Growth Programme that was part funded by ERDF and the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and delivered by Growth Platform – Liverpool City Region Growth Company.

Image: Co-owners Wayne and Max at Barerooms. Credit:

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