New owner for Sunderland Virgin Active sports club

Virgin Active Wearside
Virgin Active Wearside

Sunderland’s Virgin Active sports club is set to change hands.

The Doxford Park club is one of 16 nationwide the company has agreed to sell to David Lloyd Leisure for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition of these new sites will be a great move for us, and will greatly accelerate our medium term growth plans in the UK allowing us to concentrate more on our move into European markets.

Glenn Earlem

The deal will bring the total number of David Lloyd Leisure clubs to 111 and is expected to be complete by the end of June.

David Lloyd Leisure currently operates 83 clubs in the UK, with a further 12 in the Netherlands, Belgium and Spain, including its latest club at Aravaca, Madrid which opened last month.

The group was acquired by private equity company TDR in 2013 and new CEO Glenn Earlam was appointed in 2015, since when the firm has embarked on a major programme to improve the quality and services available in its sites.

“The acquisition of these new sites will be a great move for us, and will greatly accelerate our medium term growth plans in the UK allowing us to concentrate more on our move into European markets,” said Mr Earlam.

“They move David Lloyd Leisure into several important new areas of the country, reaching new local markets and meaning that far more of the UK’s population can take advantage of our health and fitness facilities.

“Most importantly, we are committed to investing and developing these newly acquired clubs, which is great news for both team and members at these clubs.

“We look forward to welcoming them all to David Lloyd Clubs.”

The company has invested more than £120million in refurbishing and developing its existing estate, including opening five completely new clubs.

It also operates two London sites under its Harbour Club brand, with its Kensington club reopening as a third Harbour Club in June after a £5million investment.

The Wearside club is among those listed on the David Lloyd website as part of the deal. The others are Berkshire, Brighton, Clearview, Dorset, Glamorgan, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Lanarkshire, Lancashire, Lichfield, Norfolk, Northwood, Surrey, Thorpe Wood, and Warwickshire.