The votes are in, the count completed, and Blackpool’s best gym has been named.
Universe 24hr Gym, situated on Brinwell Business Park, Brinwell Road, Blackpool was voted the Gazette’s Gym of the Year by its users.
The facility proved the most popular in our poll after gathering the highest number of votes in the past few weeks.
Delighted owner Karl Etherington said: “It’s fantastic to win this award and hopefully it is the first of many more to come.
“We’re a community gym and The Gazette is a community newspaper, so it’s great to win it.”
Karl, a mixed martial arts expert, took over the gym 10 years ago.
He said: “I tried to make sure it was open to everyone. At the time, it was £34 a month. We more than halved that price and took it to 24-hour opening and that helped grow the membership.
“We expanded and we have new equipment, and more women now use the facility.
“We’re now attracting people from far more sports backgrounds, not just bodybuilding.
“We’ve got rugby players, footballers and others coming in.
“We also had Callum McGuirk join us originally as a personal trainer, but now also works to integrate new members into the gym.
“He’s been fantastic.
“We’re very much a family with members always welcoming new people into the gym, and we’re also open for people from other gyms to come along and have a session with their friends during the day.”
The gym also has close ties with two other gyms - the nearby Davies Boxing Gym and Paul Rice’s Enigma Jiu-Jitsu gym situated in the unit above Universe.
Karl added: “We’re working with the other gyms to offer our members even more, rather than against the other gyms which is what often happens.”
Personal trainer Callum McGuirk said: “We’ve been 24 hours now for around eight months.
“We decided to make the change because there’s nothing else like that around here.
“It’s for those people working shifts who would otherwise struggle to get a workout in.”