A FITNESS business has its finger on the pulse, after investing in new technology to take it to the next level. Fitstream, which was set up by fitness entrepreneurs Kris Kennedy and Paul Cranston, is set for growth after launching a new app and next generation website – www.fitstream.com - that will help it to appeal to more customers.

The business believes that its app - which allows users to track and improve their fitness levels - and their new website - which has been developed into a multi-function e-commerce site - will help them to grow and reach out to fitness enthusiasts both nationally and internationally. Since the app launched, it has already been downloaded by more than 1,400 people and the website is currently attracting more than 35,000 unique users each month – a figure the business hopes will increase further with planned marketing activity ahead.

The company, based in Washington, was supported in developing its new app and website by the North East Business Support Fund (NEBSF), an ERDF initiative that provides 40 per cent funding - up to £1400 - towards a project worth up to £3500. The business hopes that with a new website, app and with increased marketing activity planned, it will see significant growth over the coming months.

Kris said: "The business was born out of a passion for health and fitness, and though it is a competitive market, we've developed a site and application that we believe is intuitive, user friendly and that can really help take the business forward.

"Between us, Paul and I have good technical skills, but we needed additional support with the design elements of the project and having access to funding to offset the cost was really helpful and is something we are sure will be hugely beneficial to us."

The company, which was set up in 2009, has been run as a side-line by Kris and Paul, who initially developed an affiliate site operating predominantly in the US market. The pair then took the business a step further, honing in on their interest in fitness and developing e-commerce functionality to allow them to recommend and retail products.

The business applied for support from the NEBSF, which provided them with £1,200 towards the cost of the design of the site and app. Part of the funding was used towards creating a more responsive website which will adapt to a user's device, as more than 40 per cent of the business' website traffic is from mobile or tablet visitors.

Lynne Burns, North East Business Support Manager, said: "For businesses of all sizes, NEBSF can really help to take projects forward. What might otherwise not be financially viable for a company can be made possible by accessing the fund and ultimately, the return can be significant.

"I'm delighted that Fitstream have been able to use the funding to really take their business forward, and I am sure they will reap the rewards."

She added: "We help businesses with a range of projects, from marketing and web design to financial or human resources planning. The fund has already assisted more than 1,000 businesses. It is incredibly easy to access support and there is funding still available for businesses looking to put a project in place."

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