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400,000+ readerS leisure opportunities 19 APRIL – 2 MAy 2011 ISSUE 552 Daily news & jobs: easyGym acquires Virgin sites tom WAlkEr

easyGym, the new budget club concept from easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, will officially open for business this summer aſter signing a deal with Virgin Active. Te new health club opera-

tor is to take on two locations – in Slough and Wood Green, London – and aims to open ten clubs a year from 2012, in addition to other properties earmarked for 2011. easyGym is the first fit-

ness brand to be launched by the serial entrepreneur, who signed a licensing deal with private-equity backed Fore Fitness to develop the brand. Fore Fitness will introduce memberships starting from £15 per month across the easyGym estate. Paul Lorimer-Wing, joint chief executive officer of easyGym, said: “We’ve worked closely

Martin Barratt steps down as BALPPA CEO

tom WAlkEr

Martin Barratt has leſt his post as CEO of the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions (BALPPA) aſter less than a year. In a short statement, BALPPA

announced that Barratt had leſt “in order to pursue personal interests”. BALPPA chair Adrian Mahon said:

“We would like to thank Martin for his contribution to BALPPA and wish him well. We will begin the process of finding his successor immediately.” Barratt succeeded the retiring Colin Dawson in May 2010.


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Te NISV site has been identified for the project

FAW reveals National Football Centre plans

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A purpose-built training facility is to be built at the Newport International Sports Village (NISV) under plans unveiled by the Football Association of Wales (FAW). Working with the Welsh Football Trust

easyGym is to open this summer following its deal with Virgin Active

with some of the best brains in the business to develop a proposition which we are confident will make us a leading player in the European market in the coming years.”

‘Big Society’ boost for Stonehenge

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Tourism minister John Penrose has revealed that proposals to improve the visitor experi- ence at Stonehenge, Wiltshire, have been put back on track with government support. A package that includes private philanthropy,

National Lottery cash and commercial back- ing is to be complemented with plans to enable English Heritage to access its reserves. Penrose confirmed that English Heritage

can access £2m from its historic reserves – raised from philanthropic sources. Meanwhile, around £3.5m has been allocated by roads min- ister Mike Penning to allow the Highways Agency to improve surrounding roads.

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Te announcement has put the plans back on course John Penrose said: “Te fact that we have

now almost secured private funding is an example of the Big Society in action, with everyone working together to ensure a mix of funding solutions.”

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(WFT) and Newport City Council, the FAW has earmarked a location at the NISV’s National Velodrome for the scheme. It would provide dedicated facility for all

FAW and WFT’s representative squads; a Centre of Excellence for coach education and sports science; and education space.

image: english heritage

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