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Bannatyne Group plans £50m investment to create hundreds of new jobs

To mark its 20th anniversary, Bannatyne Group has announced a £50m investment plan to advance facilities with new technology and equipment across locations nationwide.
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With 69 health club and spa venues, the Bannatyne Group has growth on the agenda in addition to refurbishment. New locations will be added to the roster, with sites secured from Virgin Active in Humberston and Lincolnshire.

The Bannatyne Group has promised the investment will support new technologies, modern equipment and a “fresh, contemporary feel” across locations.

Bannatyne Group CEO Justin Musgrove declared that 10,000 new pieces of equipment will be introduced to the business, while refurbishment will span 850,000 square feet. He believes this will offer “the most dynamic health club experience in the UK”.

“New technology is already giving many members access to information about their fitness training, it will be extended further with some pioneering initiatives coming in the months ahead,” said Musgrove. “Our acquisition programme is also on track to deliver new facilities to the Group, helping us to offer our services to more new members around mainland UK.

“Trading this year has, so far, been strong, enabling us to build on the £11.6m profit we achieved at the end of 2016. The strong performance gives us scope to make our investments, which we also expect to create hundreds of new jobs and grow our membership significantly.”

One such enhancement will be the arrival of Speedflex training, a fitness venture where former England director Alan Shearer is a director.

Speedflex machines are designed to support users of all fitness levels and ages, with resistance generated based on the user’s individual strength.

Former Newcastle United physio Paul Ferris sits alongside Shearer as a director, and previously explained to Real Business that its objective was to scale “truly nationwide” with entry into health clubs and spas – a vision supported by the likes of the Bannatyne Group.

“We believe that the growth in small fitness ventures indicates that people are in search of an effective alternative to being left to their own devices in the gym and seeking a form of exercise which will give them the best results and fit in with their busy lifestyles” Ferris said.

On the Bannatyne Group investment plans, chairman Alan Jackson said the company’s growing membership base and profits have given the board confidence to move forward.

“The result is already a premium health club operator delivering consistently high quality for its members at a mid-market price together with solid returns for its shareholders,” Jackson said.

“The programme reflects the forward thinking of an expert management team, which is aware of technological advances and the expectations of our members.”

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Zen Terrelonge

Zen Terrelonge is the deputy editor of Real Business, specialising in media, innovation, technology and the digital sector. A media professional with eight years worth of experience he has worked for both startup and established publications.

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