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A former Royal Marine Commando has opened a 24-hour gym at Central Square, Maghull.

Alex Ivanoff, who was Royal Marine for nearly 10 years before working as a bodyguard in hostile environments such as Iraq, Libya and Somalia for a decade, has invested in opening an Anytime Fitness franchise.

He has agreed a 15-year lease for a 5,000 sq ft unit, formerly occupied by leading discount store Home Bargains, at the centre, which is managed by LCP on behalf of owner Grainrent.

36-year-old Alex has created four jobs at the gym, which is open 365 days a year and staffed from 9am until 7pm. A further four self-employed personal trainers will also base themselves there.

“I was injured 12 months ago whilst on duty in Iraq and that was when I decided to take a change in direction,” he said.

“I have always been massively into health and fitness and have trained in one way or another for over 25 years. I decided to take a leap of faith and give the world of business a try and open a gym because I wanted to put my time, effort and money into something I had passion for.

“Having experienced poor service in some gyms, I’ve always said I could do better, so now it is time to put my money where my mouth is.

“Maghull is the ideal place because it lacked any real dedicated fitness centre. Now it has fantastic purpose-built fitness centre right in the community and I was really pleased to have found this unit and agree the terms with the landlord.”

LCO asset manager Matt Pegg said: “We worked with Alex to find the right kind of unit for him and are really pleased to secured Anytime Fitness for Central Square. It’s ideally placed for the local community and provides a new type of facility in the area.”

Last September, Home Bargains, the leading discount store, almost doubled its space, opening a 10,000 sq ft unit and agreeing a new 15-year lease at Central Square.

Anytime Fitness Maghull is fitted out by Precore and has 13 live classes and 700 virtual classes per week, plus bootcamps. Members are able to access any of the 4000 Anytime Fitness gyms across the world.

Picture caption: Alex with former Liverpool FC manager Roy Evans, who officially opened the gym.