Thousands of people are set to lose money as weight loss organisation Scottish Slimmers has announced it is going into liquidation.
The company, which was bought by entrepreneur Amanda Boyles last year, has announced the cancellation of all of its classes with immediate effect.
Slimmers has also announced that refunds for membership passes will not be available.
Members will still have access to the online service, and the Scottish Slimmers branded food will still be available. This is because these parts of the company are not affected by the liquidation.
And there is a chance that members may not have to wait long for their classes to restart. Chief executive Ms Boyle said that after a short break she hopes to have the company up and running again as a social enterprise.
Hopes to restart classes in the future
Ms Boyle said, “I sincerely hope that creating a social enterprise which meets a genuine need in many communities can successfully provide a class network of support for those who want to adopt healthier eating habits and lifestyle.
“This should mean that following a short period where there will be no classes, members will be able to once again access the support and encouragement they have had from Scottish Slimmers.”
In the meantime, a number of other slimming classes are available in Scotland.
The main one is rival company Slimming World, which has a network of classes that spreads across the whole of the UK. Their classes can be found on their website.
WW (formerly Weight Watchers) is also widely available. It runs workshops, an app and also has a popular food brand.
If you go to your local leisure centre or gym, it is also possible to find independent and locally-run classes.
Why did Scottish Slimmers close?
Chief Executive Ms Boyle said that the closure was due to the structure of the classes, as well as “legacy issues” relating to the way the business was run before she owned it. She said that the new management could not rely on previously reported company data.
Ms Boyle bought the company - founded 39 years ago as a local slimming class in Aberdeen - for a six figure sum in March 2018.
Ms Boyle claimed that the cost of running the 140 classes that make up the current network was twice the level of annual revenue.
She said, “This has been an incredibly difficult decision to make as I know how much the network of classes means to our members and how our community of members has valued the support of their class coaches in their healthy living and weight loss programmes.
“Many of our coaches have years of enthusiastic and loyal service and I understand that this decision is a very difficult one for them.”
The collapse of the business has affected 30 members of staff, including some at the Aberdeen headquarters as well as leaders of classes in the network.