AN ECO-FRIENDLY gym says it has an edge over its competitors because it wants to do more than just keep people healthy.

The Eco Gym, in St James’s Street, Brighton, has equipment that allows 74 per cent of the energy produced on their bikes and cross-trainers to go back into the grid.

Owner Paul Crane, 42, said: “Initially we were trading as Beach Fit in Lancing directly on the seafront.

“I actually held the idea back for quite a while.

“The Lancing facility was engineered to be more environmentally friendly and the plan evolved from there.”

Mr Crane is determined to not only help the environment and health of his members but to also create a culture of sustainability.

He said: “Everything that we do and every decision that we make is geared in the same direction.

“That’s whether it’s our SportArt eco powered equipment, energy saving lighting, having no bins to avoid waste or making our own cleaning products such as using baking soda as a replacement for toilet bleach.”

He said that it’s not just inside the gym that the gym aims to help the environment.

The gym also joins forces with Surfers Against Sewage, an environmental charity which protects the UK’s oceans through volunteers, to organise regular beach cleans with members and staff.

Statistics provided by the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR) showed there were 15 fitness facilities in Brighton and Hove and 65 in total across Sussex.

The IDBR is a comprehensive list of UK businesses used by government for statistical purposes.

Brian Dakin, 36, a scaffolder from Essex, said he was in Brighton for a couple of days and had noticed the significant amount of gyms in the area and believed a range can be positive.

He said: “Different gyms for different people is great.

“It’s probably quite intimidating for someone to go to certain gyms when the guy next to them is 10 stone heavier and maybe on steroids.

“To have other gyms available that suits other people’s needs is a good thing.”

Mr Dakin said he sees the eco tag as more of just a selling point as an eco-gym to him was one that uses outside spaces and no equipment.

He said: “I think it can be about marketing and just trying to stand out but not really being as sustainable as they say.

“I would say good luck to them.”

The gym was recently accredited by Green Circle, a third-party certification to ensure honesty and transparency in sustainability claims. The company asks for hard copies of electricity bills and equipment used. Mr Crane hopes to create a network of gyms in the South.