STAFF have confirmed that the DW Fitness gym in Bolton will close for business tonight.

Administrators were called in by the DW Sports group yesterday - and it was said 43 clubs will remain open.

But the sites in Bolton and Bury are not among those to be saved, according to insiders and communications sent out to members last night.

The Bolton and Bury gyms had only been reopened for just over a week when the announcement was made.

One staff member locally said: "We're just hoping that another gym company comes in and takes us over."

Several of their retail stores, including their outlet in Burnden, have closed in recent months.

The Bury store, which used to be located above the gym, was converted into a roller rink some time ago.

Members have been told management is "working with administrators to ensure a number of our sites remain operational in the long term".

For those looking to stick with the company, the only local transfer options are their gyms in Leigh and Wigan.

Bosses have blamed the closures on lost income during the pandemic, with 1,700 jobs across the country in jeopardy.

The Fitness First part of the company, which mainly includes gyms in London and the Midlands, have been unaffected.

Chief executive Martin Long said yesterday: “As a consequence of Covid-19, we found ourselves in a position where we were mandated by Government to close down both our retail store portfolio and our gym chain in its entirety for a protracted period, leaving us with a high fixed-cost base and zero income.

“Like many other retail businesses, the consequences of this extremely challenging operating market have created inevitable profitability issues for DW Sports.

“The decision to appoint administrators has not been taken lightly but will give us the best chance to protect viable parts of the business, return them to profitability, and secure as many jobs as possible.

“It is a difficult model for any business to manage through without long-term damage, and with the limited support which we have been able to gain.

“Having exhausted all other available options for the business, we firmly believe that this process can be a platform to restructure the business and preserve many of our gyms for our members, and also protect the maximum number of jobs possible for our team members.”