By Tom Walker from Leisure Opportunities.
Luxury health club operator Third Space has appointed its first 'people director' as part of a strategy to take the training of its staff in-house.
The move comes shortly after the company – which operates five premium clubs in London – launched its own, in-house, REPS-accredited Personal Training Academy, which takes in newly qualified PTs and trains them up to the role of "elite trainer at Third Space".
The role of people director will be take up by Laura Wigley, who joins from the Dorchester Collection – a portfolio of leading luxury hotels in Europe and the US – where she served as the global director of people development.
According to CEO Colin Waggett, the decision to take training programmes in-house is due to the quality of Third Space PTs and staff being "fundamental to the brand".
“Having the highest calibre of trainers and instructors is really the heart of offering such superior service proposition and with the arrival of Laura we are ever better placed to ensure that we continue to raise the industry benchmark in that regards," Waggett said.
As well as premium fitness facilities, Third Space offers a number of specialist services to its members, under brands such as Third Space Medical, Third Space SPA, and Natural Fitness Food – its own brand of healthy and "result-oriented" food.
“As fitness truly becomes a lifestyle choice, more and better talent is being attracted to work in the industry," Wigley said.
"I look forward to collaborating with the Third Space team to attract this new talent, and work with all employees to develop their career path and provide them with the highest quality education and experience.”
Last year, Third Space announced plans to invest £50m (US$65.7m, €56.8m) in new clubs as part of a five-year expansion plan in London.
Backed by British private equity firm Encore Capital, the company is scheduled to open a 47,000sq ft (4,366sq m) club in Islington – one of the largest in London.