Sheffield software firm plans 1,000 jobs as health industry soars

A fast growing Sheffield software company is targeting 1,000 new jobs thanks to the soaring popularity of the fitness industry.

By David Walsh
Wednesday, 23 January, 2019, 06:44
Europe MD of MindBody Kevin Teague looks forward to huge expansion. Picture: Chris Etchells

MindBody, which employs 35, is moving into a new office in Acero House on Sheaf Street next month with room for more than twice that number.

But managing director for Europe, Kevin Teague, reckons that’s just a start.

MD of MindBody Kevin Teague and team ahead of the move to Acero House. Picture: Chris Etchells

The US company makes software for gyms and self-employed fitness instructors who must juggle schedules, payments, cancellations and marketing while working.

In North America it employs 1,300 and Mr Teague believes the UK is five years behind in terms of the expansion of the sector. And Europe is five years behind the UK.

That set the scene for massive expansion of up to 1,000 new jobs in the next eight to 10 years in Sheffield, he said.

“2019 should be a really big year for MindBody in Europe and the UK. We see Sheffield as an important centre for growth. We hope to be one of the bigger tech companies in town by the end of 2019.

“Health and fitness is a passion. A lot of people see it as their way to change the world and make a positive impact in a way a lot of industries don’t.

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“We’ll have to see how Brexit plays out but we want to keep the European offices in London and Sheffield.”

MindBody’s first office was in the capital, it closed its second in Bedford and searched the UK for the right location.

Sheffield won due to the cost of labour and office space and the commute to London. And, because of the proximity of the Peak District, it also had a “decent work-life balance” which was “very important for our culture,” he added.

MindBody moved into Sheffield City Council’s Electric Works on Sheaf Street in 2017.

The firm has 60,000 customers worldwide including Trib3, a trendy gym on Ecclesall Road. It was part of a new generation of “high touch” gyms offering a “full sensory hi-jacking” in that every sense had been considered including design, lighting, sound system, service, facilities and even smell.

“We will see a lot more of that,” Mr Teague added.

Jobs being recruited in Sheffield include customer service and tech support, an ‘on-board’ team to set up new customers and language specialists for European expansion. The MD and HR director are also there.