Further to our communication last week, we wanted to take the opportunity to share with you further details of our proposal and exciting development news.
In line with our end of year financial review, it was with considerable regret that, at the end of last week, we announced the closure of our Pulse 8 brand. The gym market has changed considerably in recent years with the introduction of budget gyms and increased competition. This overcrowded and competitive market place is no longer viable and as a privately owned business we could not justify further investment without return.
Nirvana Spa remains committed to the continuous, on site provision of premium gym facilities. All current facilities on the Pulse 8 site will remain open to Nirvana Spa members as we progress plans for a new provision. During this transition period, we envisage offering a full range of classes, including aqua, as we do at the moment; the timetable will be tailored to meet the demand of the membership base. The jets in the pool will be turned off, the temperature will be reduced to between 28 and 30C and the pool will be available for fitness swimming. Members will also be able to continue enjoying the Wellness Suite facilities.
We carefully manage the number of members and visitors in the Spa to ensure that the ambience is conducive to relaxation and that we can deliver the high level of service we strive to offer all customers. We have recently closed membership and put in place a membership waiting list to protect our facilities which are nearing capacity. Fortunately we expect that over the next nine months, we will, through natural turnover of membership, be able to accommodate all Pulse 8 members who would like Nirvana Spa membership.
We are excited that these expansion plans will ensure we continue to offer a service which meets the needs and expectations of our customers whilst offering exciting career opportunities for our employees. We currently employ 450 staff and would like to assure you that the changes at Pulse 8 will not lead to any job losses.
Our continued success over thirty years has been assured by our ability to adapt and meet demand with outstanding facilities and service. Our long term strategy is to provide unrivalled facilities under both the Nirvana Spa and Nirvana Health brands.
This year has already seen glass installed in our popular pergola so customers can enjoy year round alfresco style dining. The footings are in place for the extension at the front of Nirvana Spa which will create space for a second restaurant, complete with new salad bar and a la carte menu. Later in the year we look forward to the expansion of our health boosting thermal facilities and the redevelopment of our changing rooms.
Nirvana Health is our pioneering venture to develop new hydrotherapy and spa therapies. Our vision is to use the unique features of our pools to provide unrivalled opportunities for rehabilitation and assisted exercise. Our in-house medical team are working to develop new techniques and routines which may be especially beneficial for customers suffering from painful joints, sports related injuries or reduced mobility. It is our long term ambition to develop Nirvana Health as an independent offering across multiple sites.
Our Chairman was inspired after a trip to the Droitwich Brine Baths where he met people who relied on the saltwater hydrotherapy to treat their arthritis and improve their mobility. In May 2019 we are excited to be opening our own walk in Floatation pool at Nirvana Spa. This unique pool will be saturated with Dead Sea minerals to increase buoyancy and resistance. In the salt water the body is supported and muscle tension allowing customers to move freely and safely with reduced pain. We envisage offering classes as well as one to one and free movement sessions at an additional charge.