Still fit and healthy - Stratford gym is open for business
THE dramatic closure of Bonds Lifestyle has given the mistaken impression that other businesses housed in the same building a few miles out of Stratford are shutting up shop as well.
But this week the man who runs one of them, Prime Studio – a physical exercise enterprise specialising in one-to-one personal training – stressed that his company was still very much alive and kicking.
Chris Tipping told the Herald that although Bonds had taken up most of the space in the glass-fronted building on the Dodwell trading estate in Evesham Road, a few miles out of Stratford, it was not the only business in the premises. Apart from his firm, there was also a hairdressers called Farren and Flitton Hair.
“My business is directly above the front entrance,” said Chris. “When it came to light that Bonds was closed people thought everyone was affected, which they’re not. We used to get two to three inquiries a week from potential clients.”
Chris’s company has five personal trainers – including himself – and the firm has around 70 clients.
The service is available from 5.30 in the morning to 8 o’clock in the evening.
Said Chris: “I want to get across the fact we’re still open. Our plan, going forward, is to expand within the building due to the popularity of the business.”
The closure of Bonds came as quite a shock. Originally the building housed individual concessions selling antiques, but when Zoe and Richard Biggs took over the business nine years ago they gradually expanded and changed it into a “destination” outlet, renamed it Bonds Lifestyle and sold a broad range of interiors, gifts, clothes and plants. There was also a popular restaurant/café in the building.
In recent years the couple battled through Brexit, the pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis to keep Bonds afloat, but the business eventually went into liquidation with 20 employees losing their jobs. Richard said he and his wife were “devastated” by the closure.
Meanwhile a purpose-built antiques centre at the Dodwell trading estate – which opened its doors less than a year ago – has reinforced its operations by appointing two new managers.
Top Dog Antiques has recruited Warwick couple Laura and David Atkinson to manage the day-to-day running of the centre.
The company says that the centre, which opened in July 2022, is already proving very popular with locals and further afield.