Pure Padel returns to Arora’s roots

Pure Padel is set to launch the North West’s first indoor padel club, with the six-court facility in Manchester city centre due to open in August.

Pure Padel Manchester, on Dutton Street, Cheetham Hill, will be based in a vacant warehouse that started out as a ‘cash and carry’ business built by Pure Padel co-founder Sammy Arora’s grandfather in the 1940s after he fled Indian partition. Breathing life into the facility for a new generation is paramount to Sammy, who will be repurposing it to benefit the future of the city his family made home more than 70 years ago.

The premium facility, a short walk from the AO Arena, will have six panoramic padel courts, a pro shop, bistro-style café and bar and a raised mezzanine viewing platform overlooking a show court. Free parking and wifi will also be available to customers, as will coaching. Court bookings (7am-10pm) will be on a ‘pay to play’ basis via the Playtomic app.

Sammy, who heads up Pure Padel’s commercial operations, said: “I’m excited to combine my entrepreneurialism and love of sport to introduce the first indoor padel club to the north west and I’m proud to be able to find such a modern and worthwhile use that means my grandfather’s hard work all those years ago will live on and benefit so many people today. 

“Keeping the warehouse in the family has been something I really wanted to do as recognition for my grandfather’s sacrifices and business acumen all those years ago. As the third generation of Aroras to take over, it’s both an exciting and challenging time. Embarking on my own entrepreneurial journey having such well known and successful predecessors is not without its pressures but I’m grateful for their guidance and am looking forward to the challenge.”

In addition to his grandfather, those predecessors are the Arora brothers (one of whom is Sammy’s father Bobby), described as ‘the brains’ behind the growth of discount chain B&M into one of the UK’s biggest retailers. 

Sammy Arora (left) and Fraser Higson.

Ambitious plans

Pure Padel, which opened its first club in Alderley Park in October, 2023, has demonstrated its success and ambition through its more than 4,000 players and soon-to-be status as the first padel club in the North West to operate multi-site facilities. Further still, Pure Padel has ambitious plans to build another 30 padel clubs in the next five years, with eight currently in planning and a further 15 in the pipeline. The Midlands and the South West of London are among its target regions, as well as further expansion across its home county of Cheshire.

Sammy, 23, added: “Padel has taken the UK by storm – and the North West is slowly becoming a padel hub after leaders London and Bristol who set the scene. It’s partly due to how easy it is to pick up and also the plethora of courts across the region. We hope bringing indoor padel courts to Manchester will help make it even more accessible. Currently, north Manchester residents are travelling as far as Huddersfield to play so we know there’s demand for more padel courts in the city centre that are reachable by car and public transport. Choosing a site so close to Victoria train station is a real asset – we hope it’ll help bring players into the city centre who will go on to spend on hospitality and shopping to further support the local economy.

“Manchester’s cold and wet climate makes our indoor proposition even more attractive to players who are looking to keep up padel year round. The unpredictable weather conditions really impact the game, so a club away from the elements ensures the best playing experience.”

He continued: “I’ve been lucky enough to have been playing padel since getting hooked on it in Milan, where I took it up as a student as it was the best way to meet new people in the city. It’s fantastic to see such a broad mix of people picking it up, from those who no longer play fast paced racket sports like squash and tennis, or those wishing to step away from work for exercise and to socialise – it’s clearly taken grip of the nation and we’re testament to the fact it’s here to stay.”

Since graduating from the University of Durham with a degree in International Business Management, including a year at the prestigious Bocconi business school (Milan) studying marketing and entrepreneurship, Sammy has interned at PepsiCo. He and business partner Fraser Higson have the backing of a strong non-exec board from retail, property, finance and law and have various sources of investment including Sammy’s father Bobby, one of the key investors. 🎾