Former TV ’dragon’ Duncan Bannatyne acquires Clarice House sites in Bury St Edmunds and Colchester

Clarice House in Bury St Edmunds .

Clarice House in Bury St Edmunds .

Bannatyne Group, the business founded by leisure entrepreneur and former Dragons’ Den panel member Duncan Bannatyne, has acquired two health club and spa venues in East Anglia.

The company has purchased the Clarice House operations in Bury St Edmunds and Colchester, for an undisclosed sum, from the King family who will continue to own and run the original Clarice House in Ipswich.

All three sites will continue to operate under the Clarice House identity for the time being, with the staff and management at the Bury and Colchester sites transferring to the Bannatyne Group.

Stuart King, managing director of Clarice House, said that his father, Colin, who founded the business, and step-mother, Thila, wished to retire and release some of the equity they had built up.

Clarice House in Ipswich would remain a “proudly independent health club and boutique spa”, with proceeds from the sale of the Bury and Colchester facilities also helping to fund some investment at the Ipswich site.

Mr King added that the Bannatyne Group had ambitious plans for the Bury and Colchester sites which would not have been achievable under family ownership.

The Bannatyne Group operates a variety of hotels, health clubs and spas around the country, with the health club chain already including three sites in East Anglia, at Colchester, Lowestoft and Norwich.

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It says the two Clarice House sites acquired will continue to operate as normal, with current membership terms being honoured.