Edinburgh security firm boss launches fitness equipment venture

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An Edinburgh entrepreneur has turned his attention to the home fitness market after demand for his private security business was hampered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Thursday, 24th September 2020, 7:30 am

The entrepreneur saw an opportunity when finding difficulties with buying weights online. Picture: contributed.

Angus McNaughton Leishman has launched The Weight Stand Company, which sells products such as barbells, plates and dumbbells. It has seen demand bulk up both north and south of the Border amid tighter lockdown restrictions as consumers look to work out at home.

McNaughton Leishman is already the founder and boss of Gent Security, which supplies “high-calibre, personable” security for a range of venues and events – with clients spanning the UK and including The Pear Tree in Edinburgh, the Royal Highland Show, and private parties for celebrities. While business has picked up again, its workers now amount to 15, compared to 40 pre-pandemic.

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He told The Scotsman that the security firm had a great start to the year, with a packed schedule. “As soon as Covid hit we saw a huge drop in business. With no income for both the business and myself, and hearing of a lot of people and work colleagues handing in their notices for the flats and moving home to family to cut costs, I decided I wanted to stay, find another opportunity and keep my business afloat.”

McNaughton Leishman is already the boss of Gent Security – but has seen demand drop. Picture: contributed.

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The entrepreneur, who grew up on a sheep farm in Perthshire, found that with gyms closed, he was restricted to running and bodyweight exercises, but when he looked online to buy weights they were “extremely” overpriced or had large waiting lists.

He called a friend who has a small family farm and fabricating business in Fife, who agreed to make McNaughton Leishman some stands and plates, which it had never done. “Before we knew it, I was selling two to three tonnes of weight plates a week and around 20 stands,” he said, noting that the firm went in at a competitive price point.

He started doing physically distanced local deliveries, and when word spread online, he began selling throughout the UK, including London, and to Ireland. He also drafted in his sister to help out.

“We took on another supplier in Alloa to fulfil the demand for our orders of Olympic bars. [They] are pieces of art and have been very highly recommend to a lot of people in the fitness industry.”

McNaughton Leishman has also seen more demand from women for the fitness products than from men. “We get a lot of return customers,” he also said. “It’s amazing what you can do in your own house.”

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