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400,000+ READERS leisure opportunities 04 MARCH – 17 MARCH 2014 ISSUE 627 Daily news & jobs: www.leisureopportunities.co.uk Bannatyne Group eases debts with sale and leaseback


The Bannatyne Group has announced a £92m deal with M&G Investments for the sale and leaseback of the ground leases for 39 Bannatyne’s Health Clubs. The company has been


grappling with debts result- ing from a £180m loan from the failed Anglo Irish Bank, which was nationalised by the Irish government in 2009, and the deal will help the group clear these loans, according to a statement. Chair of the Te Bannatyne


Group Duncan Bannatyne had previously tried to buy out the debt with an offer of £111.5m earlier this month. Bannatyne said: “M&G can see the long-


Chair Duncan Bannatyne had previously tried to buy out the debt with an offer of £111.5m


term value of our business and has agreed to be our landlord over a very long lease term. “Our premium business is successful, sus- tainable and profitable and we believe it is an


London and southeast dominate tourism spend


London and the southeast of England accounted for two-fiſths of the annual tourism spend in the UK in 2011, accord- ing to recently released official figures. Te area accounted for an estimated


£50bn out of £125bn spent on tourism in 2011 and overall, tourism spending in London was more than twice that of any other region or nation of the UK. Te data, produced by the Office for


National Statistics will now be used by local economic development bodies and tourism agencies to identify each region’s strengths, weaknesses and tourism potential. Details: http://lei.sr?a=Q5u9q


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ideal tenant to provide M&G’s investors with regular, reliable returns.” Te move has been described as a “quasi-


ground lease arrangement” where the initial rent is set at a lower percentage of market rental


Government starts UK fitness campaign


Te government and mayor of London have launched a new initiative designed to promote physical activity across the UK, with the aim of ensuring a lasting legacy of London 2012 and as part of a long term vision for a fitter nation. Moving More, Living More builds on the belief


that action on physical activity needs to be a long term effort and is best tackled through a team approach across government and all sectors. By bringing together individuals and key


organisations such as local authorities, businesses and employers, it is hoped the move will involve partners across sectors; highlight existing good practice and identifying and tackling the barriers which prevent people from being active.


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Te government hopes to inspire a fitter nation Helen Grant, Minister for Sport said:


“Getting people more active is an essential focus for us, not only across Government, but for clubs and organisations around the country.” Continued on back cover


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value, designed to minimise the risk of the rent becoming unaffordable for the tenant. A spokesperson for The


Bannatyne Group told Leisure Opportunities that the running of the 39 clubs in question – which are scat- tered across the UK – would not be impaired, as the lease is only for the land, so the buildings themselves will not be affected. “It will be very much a case of business as usual,” they added. All of the sites will be


leased to Bannatyne Fitness Ltd – which is part of The Bannatyne Group and oper- ates over 60 health clubs


– for 125 years on a full repairing and insur- ing basis with contracted annual reviews linked to inflation. Te portfolio comprises 26 freehold and 13 long leasehold properties. Details: http://lei.sr?a=Q4a9r


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