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leisure opportunities 14 OCT – 27 OCT 2014 ISSUE 643 Daily news & jobs: www.leisureopportunities.co.uk Nuffield Health lands £330m to fuel expansion


Nuffield Health has signed £330m of debt facilities as the charity bids to widen its footprint in the UK health club market as part of a concerted push towards integrated care pathways. Te business secured the funds –


which were provided by a combination of banks and institutional lenders – to further its strategic development plans for offering an integrated approach to fitness, prevention and cure, across hospitals, consumer and corporate fitness, and wellbeing markets. The expansion seems to be gath-


ering pace with Nuffield taking over nine former Virgin Active health clubs in August – five of which are sited within five miles of Nuffield hospitals. It has also announced a strategic partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University, which will see construction of a major facility in cen- tral Manchester, incorporating a state of the art hospital, wellbeing and rehabilitation services. A Nuffield spokesperson confirmed that the new funds would be used to aid expansion,


£5bn proposal puts QPR stadium bid in doubt


Queen’s Park Rangers Football Club’s proposed move to Old Oak Common looks increasingly uncertain aſter the landowner blocking the club’s move to the site revealed a £5bn alterna- tive plan for the west London space. PLP has been revealed as the lead


architect behind the alternate pro- posal and has produced a masterplan featuring a cultural hub, canal-side dock and 9,500 homes and two schools. Te plans have been formu- lated by managing director of car supermarket Cargiant Tony Mendes. Continued on back cover


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Nuffield Health chief financial officer Greg Hyatt oversaw the deal


while the company’s deputy chief executive KP Doyle told Leisure Opportunities in a recent interview that more health club takeovers were likely, particularly in the capital. Doyle said aſter the Virgin acquisitions:


“We’ll certainly be looking at more deals like this, particularly in markets where we’re underrepresented like London, where we want to boost overall integrated wellness offerings,


Thorpe Park takes to dating app Tinder


Torpe Park theme park has started using a unique method to draw customers to its Halloween attractions – by signing up Billy the Puppet and Pighead from the Saw movie franchise, and Harry from My Bloody Valentine to the popular dating app Tinder. Tinder – which matches users based on a


yes or no decision from pictures, ages and geographical location – has more than 10 mil- lion daily active users worldwide. Te three unlikely new users have been “chatting up” their matches before asking them a question about Torpe Park’s upcoming Fright Night Event. Once matched, the user can then Tweet @thorpepark with a screenshot of their


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Saw’s Billy the Puppet: single and ready to mingle


conversation to have a chance of winning a 16-night Fright Night horror pass. With more than 500 matches so far, the


trio are certainly turning heads on Tinder. Details: http://lei.sr?a=2J9A5


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with more diagnostic facilities as well.” Nuffield has since followed up on


this by reopening its London City flagship gym in September, following a £1.9m redevelopment of the 80,000sq ſt (7,432sq m) facility. Te new-look gym – which took nearly three months to complete – will operate in harmony with the in-house medical centre, which provides health assessments, physiotherapy and full GP services. Under the new financing arrange-


ment, lead institutional investors Pricoa Capital Group and the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company have provided long-term fixed-rate


loans of 10 and 12 years to the charity. Under these terms, Nuffield Health still retains control of its freehold asset base, provid- ing it with long-term security and flexibility. Meanwhile, existing bank lenders Barclays, RBS and Santander were joined by HSBC and Siemens Financial Services and pro- vided seven-year committed bank facilities. Details: http://lei.sr?a=B6p3a


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