A female-only gym studio in Carrickfergus is going from strength to strength thanks to the support of the Go For It Programme.
Personal trainer Christine Surgenor launched Bel-Tonz Studio in February 2018 after spotting a gap in the local market for a female-only fitness studio.
After the death of her mother, Christine spurred herself on and started to purchase items of gym equipment with the plan to one day open her own fitness studio.
She turned to the Go For It Programme in late 2017 when she found the perfect location for her business in the heart of the Woodburn area.
Christine said: “My mother suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia for a long time and died at an early age. This changed my outlook on life and from that moment on I made a promise to myself that I would chase my dreams.
“I have always had a real passion for fitness so it was obvious it was always going to be a big part of my life. I really get a buzz from helping people achieve their fitness and weight loss goals, especially women, as we battle our negative body issues.
“My dream was to one day have my own fitness space and now I’m the proud owner of Bel-Tonz Studio. There are currently over 150 active members already signed-up and the place is really buzzing.
“It wouldn’t have been possible with the support of the Go For It programme. My business advisor Alan Hamilton at Carrickfergus Enterprise was really supportive and helped me compile a personalised business plan that mapped out exactly what I needed to do. Once I had this I was able to secure a loan to fit out the premises and purchase the equipment I needed.
“It has been a hectic few months, but it’s been an amazing experience and hopefully I have made my mum very proud.”
The Go For It programme is delivered free of charge by a team of experienced business mentors through Northern Ireland’s wide network of enterprise agencies.
It provides expert advice and help with developing a robust business plan to help turn ideas into a commercial enterprise.
Alan Hamilton, Business Advisor at Carrickfergus Enterprise said: “Christine joined the Go For It Programme with a clear idea for a business that she is genuinely passionate about. We worked with her to develop her business plan, focusing on key areas such as marketing and financial forecasts. It also allowed her to secure a business loan from the Enterprise NI Loan, which was the final piece of the jigsaw to get the studio up and running.”