£1m refurb looms as Bannatyne takes over fitness club

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 4 Sep 2017

HUMBERSTON Country Club will receive a £1 million refurbishment after it was taken over by the fitness empire of Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne.

The Bannatyne Group completed the acquisition of the Virgin Active health club on Humberston Avenue, Humberston over the weekend, and it will now undergo a major revamp, including the development of a new spa.

The Bannatyne Group has also revealed plans for significant investment in the gym floor, which will be totally refurbished with state-of-the-art Technogym equipment and a functional training area.

The changing rooms will be significantly enlarged as well as upgraded and the spa will be designed to deliver “the latest in luxurious relaxation and wellbeing spa treatments”.

The health club will be renamed Bannatyne Humberston and memberships will be transferred to the Bannatyne Group.

Justin Musgrove, chief executive of the Bannatyne Group, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Virgin Active Humberston members and staff to the Bannatyne Group.

“We are committed to bringing equipment and facilities that are of the highest standard, to help members achieve their fitness, health and wellbeing goals more effectively and the new spa is essential to support our aim to deliver a quality holistic health and wellbeing service.

“The exciting investment in the gym, spa and changing rooms will greatly enhance the health club without compromising the country club atmosphere that members enjoy so much. This is great news for everyone at Bannatyne Humberston.”

The health club currently offers more than 2,500 members exercise facilities, an indoor swimming pool, tennis courts, bowling green, 9-hole golf course and a lounge and café bar. A £77 million deal completed in April 2011 saw Virgin take over the Humberston Avenue site from Esporta, as part of a buy-out of 55 clubs, following initial purchases from the company in 2005.

Virgin Active took over the lease of the club and facilities from land-owning pension fund Standard Life, and shortly afterwards the investment was put up for sale, with plans to sell off the nine-hole golf course quickly materialising as the latter didn’t sit with Sir Richard Branson’s portfolio.

A sale was completed to a private investor, Lincoln-based Limes Developments Ltd, with long lease attached covering the health club. Golf continues to this day on the site, which neighbours Humberston Academy, and also includes an extensive tennis provision as well as pools, restaurant and function facilities.

Launched in the late 1990s after successful ventures in care homes and nurseries, Bannatyne’s acquired 26 health clubs from Hilton Hotels in 2006, making it the largest independent chain of health clubs in the UK.

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