Entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne’s health club chain, which recently reported a 30% rise in profits, has invested £850,000 in four of its North East sites.
Bannatyne Fitness has removed some of the cardiovascular workout machines from the sites, replacing them with state-of-the-art Technogym fitness equipment that includes docks for iPods, iPhones and USB sticks, allowing members to plug in and listen to music or watch videos as they complete their exercise routines.
At its club at Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough, Bannatyne invested £250,000 on ten treadmills, two upright bikes, three reclining bikes, eight cross-trainers and two vario machines, which allow users to workout using a running action, but without the usual impact.
At Darlington, £300,000 was spent on 13 treadmills, four upright bikes, two steppers, a hand bike, four reclining bikes, ten cross-trainers and three vario machines, while the Durham club saw the £120,000 purchase of seven treadmills, eight cross-trainers and two vario machines.
At Ingelby Barwick, Stockton, there was a £180,000 investment on 10 treadmills, four upright bikes, two steppers, eight cross-trainers and two vario machines.
Colin MacGillvray, North East regional manager at Bannatyne Fitness, said: “Bannatyne Fitness is a growing company which continually strives for excellence in its Health Clubs. Continually investing in new workout equipment is hugely important because it ensures that members are always able to access the very best and most up-to-date equipment to help them achieve their personal fitness goals.
“As well as docks to enable members to watch movies and listen to music, the new equipment has state-of-the-art enhanced technology which ensures a smoother operation for a more effective workout.”
The news follows the release of accounts this month that showed Bannatyne Fitness had grown pre-tax profits 30% to £11.5m in 2013.
Turnover for the 59-site chain also rose from £91.7m to £92.4m, while operating profit before exemptions and impairments went from £13.3m to £14.7m.
The figures also showed that membership across the chain stood at around 170,000.
Founder and chairman Duncan Bannatyne, who is known for his role on the BBC television show Dragons’ Den, said the results were down to growing internet bookings and the introduction of three different health club levels.
He said: “These fantastic results vindicate our strategy to reduce debt and focus on new ways to deliver exceptional service to members.”