About Us2018-07-23T19:12:27+00:00

About Us

CLUB TOWERS’ STORY SO FAR

By Matthew Towers (written in May 2016; Updated July 2017) – In the years leading up to our opening in March 2017, I was asked the same question many times – “why are you trying to build a high-end health and racquets club in Bedford?” The implication was that such a club could not possibly succeed or that Bedford was not a suitable place for such a club. And the question came from people who lived in the town as much as from people living outside Bedford. I personally think it betrayed a lack of confidence in the town that I certainly did not share. Anyway, back to that question – let me try to explain why we did it…

RACQUET SPORTS IN BEDFORD

I have been a long-standing sports enthusiast, with a passion for competitive sport of all types, but with a particular love of racquets sports. In my view, racquet sports are the ultimate in sporting endeavour, combining power, endurance and strategy – testing the strength of character, the will-power of participants to the limit. It is boxing without actually hitting your opponent! When I moved to Bedford in the late 1980s, it was relatively well served, with the Kimbolton Road squash club, two large tennis clubs (Riverside and Bradgate Road), and some decent pay-and-play facilities. In the following 25 years the world moved on, but Bedford stood still in terms of racquets sports provision. The squash club closed – not to be replaced. Bradgate Road tennis club closed. There was little new investment, and it is incredible that the whole of north Bedfordshire had no permanent indoor tennis courts.

GYMS HEAD DOWN-MARKET

At the same time, in the decade before we opened, the town’s gyms and fitness facilities headed down-market.  Dragons in Kimbolton Road became LA Fitness and then closed. LA Fitness on Manton Heights was taken over by Pure Gym and cost reduced, removing the swimming pool and Les Mills classes. Other budget gyms sprang up and now dominate the market. Other towns and cities have superb gyms facilities that include pools, spas and state-of-the-art studios, but seemingly not Bedford. This needed to change.

MAKING IT HAPPEN

I made a commitment to myself many years ago, when the squash club closed, that if I was ever in a position to improve the racquets and gym facilities in Bedford I would make it happen. And so, when I sold my previous business in 2012, I was finally able to make a start on realising the dream. It has not been straightforward! Buying a suitable plot of land was very difficult, and my thanks must go to the Mayor Dave Hodgson, and the Borough Council for helping me along the way, when I needed their support. We started the planning process in mid-2015, the land purchase was completed in January 2016, and planning approval followed quickly after this.

I worked on the design for over 2 years with Hooper Architects – a Dutch firm with a long history in the sport and leisure industry, and we tried to incorporate all of the essential elements of a high class health and racquets facility. I visited a huge number of clubs across the UK and Holland over a 4 year period to look at best design practice, and this was very helpful when making decisions about what would (and would not!) work.  The build took almost exactly a year – commencing on 4th April 2016 and completing in early March 2017, and our main contractors, Pellikaan Construction, did a wonderful job for us, notwithstanding the inevitable teething issues!

THE FUTURE

Our vision is to create a club that caters for families, whilst at the same time offering adult individuals the health club experience that they desire. We want it to feel like “a Club” and not just a place where members come to work out. We take feedback from our members very seriously and will continue to evolve the Club based on this feedback, and the ideas and initiatives of our very dedicated staff team.

We are also aiming to stimulate a renaissance in squash in the area, drive increased tennis participation, and make Bedford a healthier and happier place to live. If we could produce one or two players who go on to national recognition, that would be a bonus. Not too ambitious then!!

WHAT OUR MEMBERS SAY

What a fabulous place they have created! We are so fortunate to be having this wonderful facility in Bedfordshire. – DI

WHAT OUR PROSPECTIVE MEMBERS SAY

“Cool! About Time!! ”
– LM

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