Peter Coates cut the ribbon and unveiled a commemorative plaque at M Club Spa and Fitness in Hanley – praising owner and founder Mo Chaudry, who was brought up in Telford, for his ‘drive, energy, enterprise and investment’.
The three-storey club is housed in a £12 million, 70,000 sq ft expansion of the Waterworld leisure resort at Festival Park, which includes more than 300 pieces of cutting-edge equipment, an indoor pool and running track.
Mr Coates said: “I’m delighted to be here to open this club and celebrate the development of the site.
“It’s such a huge credit to Mo, what he has achieved. We should all be very grateful we have got him here, as he has done so much for this city. We do appreciate all that you do.
“Mo’s drive, energy, enterprise and investment have done so much for us – we are lucky to have him here and I’m sure that this latest enterprise will be a big success.”
Mr Chaudry said he was "delighted and honoured" that Mr Coates had agreed to perform the official opening.
“Not only is he Stoke born-and-bred, but he is a hugely respected entrepreneur and businessman who has done incredible things for the area.
“It’s been four years since we first came on site for what was supposed to be an 18-month contract to create this new club.
“But we were hit by the perfect storm, and the pandemic meant all our businesses were closed, and everything came to a halt. But where there is a will, there is a way.
“I want to thank a whole team of people who helped to make this happen, including the architects, sub-contractors, my operations team, management, my wife Ann and the rest of my family. I really couldn’t have done this without them.”
He added: “This is the biggest single project I have ever done – I wanted to create the best gym in Staffordshire. It’s lovely to be involved in a business I’m so passionate about, and which improves people’s lifestyles.”
Mr Coates joined Mr Chadry and members of his family to cut a ribbon declaring the new M Club officially open, before unveiling a commemorative plaque. The ceremony was watched by guests who gathered on the terrace before being given guided tours of the site.
The new M Club has top-of-the-range treadmills, cross trainers, line steppers, rowers, and lateral trainers, plus a functional training zone, free weights area, and Olympic-standard weightlifting racks.
There are also rooms for physiotherapy and sports massage, a large yoga studio, ladies-only gym area, spinning studio and another large studio area which will be used for fitness classes.