Portsmouth builders switch careers to build their own gym from scratch - and now they are offering free sessions

TWO builders decided to put down their tools and switch their careers – and now they are on a mission to make Portsmouth fitter.

Wednesday, 21st April 2021, 4:45 pm

Lea Jackson, from Horndean, and Dan Till, from Farlington, have opened a new gym called 1Basecamp in Hilsea.

The business started when the builders teamed up to create a health and fitness social media app called gymbuddy last year, which allows users to post progress on the fitness feed, book into gyms, and book professional trainers and more.

After the success of their app, Lea and Dan decided to take the plunge and go into business as Dan has always been interested in owning his own gym.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Owners, Dan Till and Lea Jackson at their gym, Basecamp, Skill Centre, Portsmouth on 20 April 2021 Picture: Habibur Rahman

So when lockdown came along, they took on a large warehouse in December and used their skills to build the gym themselves.

Lea, 52, said: ‘It’s been surreal.’

Read More

Read More
Gosport gym has makeover ahead of April 12 reopening for Marina Fitness members

The pair have tied the business into their app and also adjusted it to work as a booking system to make sure they are always complying with Covid guidelines.

Basecamp, Skill Centre, Portsmouth Picture: Habibur Rahman

Both worked every day in order to open Basecamp as soon as they could, however once they gym was ready to be opened Covid restrictions were once again tightened and it was forced to close.

After 110 days, start to finish, Basecamp opened as soon as gyms and leisure centres were able to on April 12 at the Limberline Spur Skill Centre.

Since opening, Lea and Dan have experienced a mass of customers wanting to make use of the gym facilities.

The gym has many features, including a sauna, a podcast room, sunbeds and a café that overlooks the gym, which will be opened when allowed.

Dan, 40, said: ‘We’re running the first month free so people can get back on their feet with getting back into a gym environment.’

The pair have created and opened Basecamp without any outside investment.

They said they hoped it would help keep people in the city fit.

Lea said: ‘We’re massive on mental health, and health and fitness.

‘It’s all tied in together. We feel it's so important to keep people fit and healthy, but we also understand things are not great financially, hence free gym until May.’

Both Lea and Dan agree that this is just the beginning of something amazing.

For more go search 1Basecamp on Facebook or go to instagram.com/1basecamp/, alternatively email [email protected]

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

The News is more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism.

You can subscribe here for unlimited access to Portsmouth news online - as well as our new Puzzles section.