Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Virgin Active ramps up growth plans in Australia and East Asia

Virgin Active ramps up growth plans in Australia and East Asia
September 14, 2015

Leading international fitness club brand Virgin Active as has announced plans to open up to 14 new clubs to Australia and to further grow its club footprint in Thailand, Singapore and other Asian markets.

With business booming, Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Active Australia Managing Director Scott Hood have announced that Virgin Active is set to undergo a rapid growth phase across Asia Pacific with the number of health clubs increasing from six to around 20 in Australia.

Since launching in Australia in 2008, significant numbers of Australians have embraced the Virgin Active concept with open arms.

The brand’s most recent launches in Collins Street, Melbourne and Moore Park, Sydney have reportedly surpassed all expectations confirming the appetite for Virgin Active’s differentiated product mix and world class yet value for money offer in the market.

As a result the high performing global health club company is now looking to accelerate the roll-out with advanced discussions already underway with various sites in Sydney.

In addition to Australia, Virgin Active also announced today that it plans to grow in Singapore and Thailand and is considering extending into new Asian markets.

Commenting on this expansion, Sir Richard stated “we are really pleased with the response to the Virgin Active offer in Australia.

“Our new and founding clubs are performing exceptionally well (with) the generous size of our clubs, breadth and quality of the product offering making us truly unique.

“We cater to a broad market, plus we have prospered continuously since launch, which makes landlords look at us with interest.”

Virgin Active’s current landlords include Payce Consolidated Limited, who secured Virgin Active as an anchor tenant in its landmark new East Village development near Moore Park, as well as Investa Office Trust, the owner of the recent $462 million redevelopment at 567 Collins Street in Melbourne where Virgin Active’s latest club currently occupies 4,400 metres².

Sir Richard added “these are iconic new developments and our ability to attract a broad segment of the market to these locations makes us incredibly attractive as an anchor tenant.

“The other thing about our business is that we respond quickly to the latest trends but with our own twist to ensure our product is fresh.

“We offer kids facilities and swimming lessons in relevant clubs where mums need a bit of active me time.

“Group exercise is back in a major way so we offer over 200 group exercise classes every week in every club. In particular our Mind and Body programs including- Reformer Pilates, Yoga and Barre classes are among our most popular.

“And on the other end of the exercise spectrum is Virgin Active’s high intensity interval class called The Grid - a great example of Virgin Active innovation, The Grid offers four different training programs and each 30 minute class promises to burn 500 calories.”

Detailing the background to the growth announcement, Hood stated “off the back of our impressive performance, in July this year, international investment group Brait acquired an 80% controlling interest in the Virgin Active Group valuing the business at £1.3 billion (A$2.82 billion).

“Like Virgin, Brait is a long term investment partner looking to continue the strong growth our brand has achieved since launching our first club in Preston, England.”

Virgin Active’s global management team has also recently restructured to support these aggressive growth plans with former Chief Executive Matthew Bucknall, who founded Virgin Active in 1999, now focusing exclusively on accelerating Virgin Active’s expansion in Asia Pacific.

Sir Richard concluded “when we first launched Virgin Active in Australia in 2008 my vision was to shake up the health and fitness market and grow quickly, we’re now in a great position for that vision to become reality.

“Our latest club openings in Australia are setting a new Virgin Active global standard in first year success and our plan is to have up to 20 clubs in the next few years. We are now confident we have the track record, a strong pipeline of potential sites and the right infrastructure in place to accelerate our growth.”

Images (from top): Sir Richard Branson, anti gravity yoga and the climbing wall at Virgin Active Collins Street, and Virgin Active Frenchs Forest.





Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all


Recreation Management Software for managing all your program registrations, facility bookings, membership pass sales and Point of Sale; including detailed reporting, automated customer communication…

read more

Access / Billing / Finance / Marketing / Technology


Aussie Strength

We are Aussie Strength. The ultimate supplier for Commercial Gym Equipment that's built to deliver in the toughest environments. From USA-Built hardcore weight training equipment from Arsenal…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness


Perfect Gym

Perfect Gym Solutions is a software as a service (SaaS) solution purpose-built to service the fitness industry, with over 1000 clients servicing over 2 million gym members across 40 countries making…

read more

Access / Fitness / Marketing / Recreation / Technology



Swimplex Aquatics are a world-class company dedicated to the commercial pool, waterslide industry. We are Australian market leaders servicing all states Australia wide. Swimplex provide a full…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Design / Play / Waterparks



Gunnebo is a global provider of security and access control solutions and services with sales companies in 31 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australia.…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Security / Ticketing / Venues


Anti Wave International

Anti Wave International is the original suppliers of top performance swim, aquatic sports, leisure and pool programming equipment. Founded in 1971, Anti Wave International is proud of its…

read more

Aquatics / Play / Sport


SeatGeek Asia Pacific

SeatGeek is a search engine and mobile-focused ticket marketplace that allows fans to buy and sell tickets for live events. As of August 2018, SeatGeek has exited the Australian, New…

read more

Entertainment / Sport / Technology / Ticketing / Venues


Crystal Pools

Crystal Pools has a solid history of performance on a wide variety of government and commercial projects and is the name behind many of Australia’s most innovative and ambitious aquatic…

read more

Aquatics / Design


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business