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Leisure - 1998






















Derby City Council and English Partnerships are considering plans to transform two 150-acre sites in Derby into business and leisure parks, creating up to 6,000 jobs.

JD Wetherspoon is planning to invest £100m in the opening of a further 80 pubs in 1999, which will create 2,000 jobs.

Vardon is selling its tourist attractions division, which includes 23 Sea Life centres and the London and York Dungeons, to a management team for £47m.

Morgan Grenfell Private Equity has acquired the Coral chain of betting shops from Ladbroke for £390m, but Ladbroke will retain 50 shops in Ireland, eight in Jersey and Coral's 5% stake in Satellite Information Services.

Granada has sold its Air Travel Group tour operator business to Thomson Travel Group for £20m.

Greenalls has announced the sale of 1,241 franchised and tenanted pubs to Nomura International for £370m, and will invest some of the proceeds in its hotel and health club businesses.

Wrexham council is considering plans from Knutsford-based developers Bushwing for a motel, petrol station and McDonald's restaurant at Halton, which would create up to 100 jobs.

Whitbread Inns has won permission from Penwith District Council to build a £2.5m budget hotel and pub-restaurant in West Cornwall, which will create 60 jobs.

RF Hotels is planning to build a five-star hotel in Manchester as part of the £100m Chapel Wharf development, creating about 200 jobs.

Barnsley Council and a consortium of local companies have won European funding for a marketing initiative to attract an extra 30,000 visitors a year to the Penistone and Hoyland areas, and 70 jobs will be created.

Derry City Council has given three local businessmen approval to build a £9m hotel on the banks of the River Foyle, which will create more than 130 jobs.

JD Wetherspoon is moving into Northern Ireland with plans for a £1m bar complex in Londonderry, creating 30 jobs.

Westport Developments has submitted plans for a £10m student village and leisure complex in Stoke, which would create 50 jobs.

The Mill Hotel in Chester has won planning permission for a £2.5m development that will create 50 jobs, and plans include a leisure and health club and conference facilities.

Airtours is to set up a new telephone enquiry centre in Accrington, creating up to 230 jobs.

First Leisure, the night clubs, bars and entertainment group, is moving its national administration headquarters to new offices at Enderby near Leicester, creating 60 jobs.

Colchester Council is considering plans from a local businessman for the creation of an £8m Roman circus, which would accommodate 1,200 visitors and create 150 jobs.

Holiday Inns is planning to build a 77-bed hotel complex in Grimsby next year, creating at least 100 jobs.

Plymouth Council is to consider plans for the creation of a maritime museum at the abandoned Jaeger factory in Union Street, and up to 100 jobs could be created.

Acer Snowmec is planning to build a £100m winter theme park called Xanadu in Birmingham, which will create 3,000 jobs.

Inn Business has bought 14 pubs from Allied Domecq for £2.2m, giving it a total of 488.

Next Generation Tennis, the David Lloyd-owned sports club business, has revealed plans to build a £7m sports centre in Plymouth, including tennis courts, squash courts, and swimming pools.

Eurocamp has sold the restaurant and nightclubs operation of its recently-acquired Baldwin business to a Malaysian businessman for £7m.

North Tyneside Council has approved plans by the Duke of Northumberland to build a multiplex cinema, houses and a new metro link at Backworth near Whitley Bay.

Enterprise Inns has acquired Mayfair Taverns, the chain of 276 tenanted pubs, for £37m, and aims to have a total 2,500 pubs within three years.

Crest Nicholson is to develop a 15-screen Odeon cinema at Bristol's new Harbourside leisure complex, and there will also be a nightclub, casino, health and fitness centre, bars and restaurants.

Landmark Developments is planning to build a new hotel in York that will create up to 100 jobs.

Leisure Villages is planning to develop a £60m SnoWorld winter sports and leisure complex in Manchester, creating 2,600 jobs.

Luminar Leisure Group is investing £1.7m in a new restaurant and night club in Plymouth that will create 90 jobs.

Fitness First Clubs is developing a £1m health club in east Belfast which will create up to 50 jobs, and it is now looking for more sites in Northern Ireland.

Warner Village Cinemas has won approval to build a £6m multiplex cinema at the Conway Park development in Birkenhead, creating 70 new jobs.

Allied Domecq has won approval to build a £3m hotel at Blackpool Airport, creating 70 jobs.

Riley Leisure, the snooker group, is setting up a new 65,000 sq ft headquarters and manufacturing facility on the Network 65 business park in Burnley, creating an extra 34 jobs.

Oakgate Leisure has submitted plans for new development at Monks Cross in York, including a hotel, restaurants, leisure facilities and a sports medical centre, creating up to 1,000 jobs.

Kestonbond Holst has won approval to build a £17.5m leisure and housing complex in Grimsby, including multiplex cinema, hotel, restaurant, bowling alley and pub.

JD Wetherspoon is planning to open a £1.5m pub in Union Street, Plymouth, creating 35 jobs.

Scottish & Newcastle has announced plans to invest £21m in the creation of a chain of 150 community-orientated pubs, creating 750 jobs.

Clubhaus is acquiring El Bosque Golf and Country Club in Spain for £3.6m, as part of a strategy to buy more foreign golf courses due to the high prices being asked in the UK.

Plans are being prepared for a £10m scheme to regenerate the Quayside maltings in Mistley, Essex, and up to 500 jobs could be generated.

Amec is planning to build a hotel, bowling alley and cinema complex at a 43-acre leisure park in Dudley, creating about 340 jobs.

Thomas Cook is to merge its UK holiday interests with those of Carlson of the US, to create an enlarged group with over 1,400 travel agents.

Time Warner and United News & Media have shortlisted three sites between Rugby and London as potentially suitable to set up a Movie World theme park and film production studio.

Airtours is acquiring Panorama Holiday Group, the Brighton-based tour operator, for £10m, as well as Vacation Express, the US tour operator, for £14m.

Warner Village has won the contract to operate the 10-screen cinema in Reading's Oracle centre, and it will open next autumn with the creation of more than 100 jobs.

Grampian Holdings has sold various golf-related businesses to a management team for £3.4m, and the new company will be called Caledonian Golf Group and based at the Ben Sayers factory in North Berwick.

Queensborough is acquiring 46 Deep Pan Pizza outlets from City Centre Restaurants for £10m, and will convert them into a chain of Italian-style trattorias.

Ulster Waterways Group is pressing for the £100m restoration of Northern Ireland's waterways, and claims it will create up to 200 tourism jobs.

Barry Action, the partnership between the Welsh Development Agency and the Vale of Glamorgan Council, has begun work on a multi-million pound steam railway tourist attraction in Barry.

PizzaExpress is to double the size of its chain of pasta restaurants to 22 this year and will add a further 20 pizza outlets to take the chain to over 200 by next June.

Self-Serve, the manufacturer of vending machines for washroom areas, is to undergo a £7m management buy-out, and will now look to expand overseas.

JD Wetherspoon is to continue to expand its pubs chain by about 80 new outlets a year, and claims there are plenty of suitable sites.

Hoyts of Australia is planning to open up to 15 multiplex cinemas in the UK over the next four years at a cost of £75m, and has already secured sites in Kent, London, Liverpool and Wolverhampton.

Pizza Hut is to open two more delivery units in Leeds with the creation of 120 jobs.

Franchisee Allied Leisure is to open 25 more Burger King restaurants in the North-East and the North-West, creating 900 new jobs, and is also taking over seven existing Burger King restaurants.

Next Generation Club is planning to build an £8m indoor tennis and sports centre in York, which could create more than 100 new jobs.

Stakis LivingWell is to build a £4.5m health club at Belfast Harbour Exchange, including pool, saunas, and other facilities, creating 50 jobs.

The government is said to be planning to create a "Scottish Riviera" on the Edinburgh shoreline, with the construction of new hotels, shops, beaches and houses, and the creation of up to 4,000 jobs.

Northumberland Training and Enterprise Council is planning a £5.5m development to expand the Longhirst Hall four-star hotel, creating up to 30 new jobs.

Thistle Hotels has sold 30 provincial hotels to the Lehman Brothers investment bank for £66m, and they will now be run by Peel Holdings.

Thomson Travel is to acquire Blakes Holiday Boating, the boat hire business, from Blakes Holidays for more than £2.5m.

Bovis is set to win a contract to build an £80m performing arts centre at Cardiff Bay, which is expected to include a 2,000-seat auditorium and leisure facilities.

First Leisure has sold a number of attractions to Leisure Parcs for £74m, including Blackpool Tower and piers at Eastbourne, Southsea and Blackpool.

Hartford Group is acquiring Bluelodge, the owner of the Pharmacy restaurant in London's Notting Hill, in a £7.2m reverse takeover, as part of a strategy to build up a branded restaurant business.

The Egypt Mill hotel in Nailsworth near Stroud is planning to transform itself into a £12m leisure complex, with the creation of 100 jobs.

Belgo is acquiring Caprice Holdings, the London restaurant owner, for £13m, funded partly by a new £8m share placing.

King Consolidated Holdings of South Africa is planning to move into the UK and open up to 50 Keg and McGintys pub-restaurant franchises over the next two years.

Limavady Borough Council in Northern Ireland is planning to build a £3m arts centre and museum at the town hall.

First Leisure is planning to build a £5m sports centre with golf clubhouse and ancillary facilities in Glasgow.

BGR is planning to open Bank restaurants in Birmingham and Edinburgh as part of an expansion plan that will result in a chain of eight outlets by 2000.

Thomson Travel is acquiring Crystal, the ski holiday and short breaks operator, for £66m, in order to maintain its leadership of the market and increase its share of specialist holidays.

Vardon has acquired Harbour Club, the London health club, for £22m, and now plans to sell its London Dungeon and Sea Life tourist attractions and start opening health and fitness clubs in continental Europe.

The New Millennium Experience Company is creating 5,000 temporary jobs at London's millennium dome, and is looking for people to work in catering, cleaning, sales and exhibitions.

Slug & Lettuce Group, previously known as Grosvenor Inns, has secured the properties that will enable it to reach its target of expanding its chain of bars from 29 to 35 by May 1999.

Granada has sold Granada Vending Services to management for £35m, as part of a strategy to sell off non-core assets.

Fitness First has acquired a 50% stake in Fitness Club Freizeitanlagen for £10m, its first move into continental Europe.

Bass is selling its BLMS amusement machine service business to a newly-formed company called Leisure Link, backed by Duke Street Capital, for £70m.

Parisa, the off-licence company bought out from Greenalls, is to open a restaurant with micro brewery in Putney High Street, and a further two restaurants will be opened in the next six months.

Airtours has acquired Direct Holidays, the Glasgow-based tour operator that has 25% of the telephone booking market, for £81m, which will take it into direct selling for the first time.

Eurocamp is to acquire Baldwin, the tour operator and restaurant group, for £35m, which will increase its share of the camping market from 40% to 55% and add additional European countries to its brochure.

Oriental Restaurant Group is planning to set up a centralised kitchen in London which will enable it to expand its chain of restaurants from seven to up to 30.

Gala Clubs has acquired Ritz for £36m, creating a combined chain of 147 bingo clubs.

Greene King is acquiring Beards of Sussex, the chain of 43 pubs, for £12m.

Groupe Chez Gerard is acquiring Richoux, the chain of six restaurants, for £7.2m in order to speed up its expansion plans.

PizzaExpress has acquired Cafe Pasta, the chain of eight London restaurants, for an initial £6m.

First Choice is to acquire two holiday operators - Unijet for £110m and Hayes & Jarvis for £24m - in a move that is expected to increase its market share from 11% to 18%.

Thomas Cook has acquired Flying Colours, the tour operator and charter airline, for a sum thought to be about £50m, which is expected to increase its market share from 11% to 16%.

The Wineworld theme park in London is expected to open next May, and plans are being prepared for an exhibition of the world's wines as well as restaurant and corporate entertainment facilities.

Cliveden, the luxury hotel business, is set to be acquired by a group of US investors called Destination Europe for £43m.

Granada Entertainments has sold the Camelot theme park and hotel in Chorley to management for £16m.

Pearson is to buy Thorpe Park, the Surrey theme park, from RMC for up to £20m, and will combine it with its Tussaud's Group subsidiary.

Pubmaster is acquiring Mercury Taverns, the Midlands-based chain of 141 pubs, for £35m.

Lonrho has agreed the sale of its Princess Hotels chain to Canadian Pacific for $540m, in order to focus on its mining activities.

Mansfield Brewery is to open a further 15 concept pubs this year.

Yates Brothers Wine Lodges is to open 25 pubs over the coming year and is particularly targeting the south and London.

Luminar is to open another 12 Chicago Rock Cafes this year, as well as three discos and a Rhythm Room Bar and Grill.

Vardon has acquired Cannon Sports & Leisure for £25m, as part of a strategy to refocus its business on health and fitness clubs.

Fuller Smith & Turner, the London brewer, is planning to open up to 10 outlets this year with an investment of £20m.

Coffee Republic is planning to expand its chain of coffee stores out of its London home and into other parts of the UK, and is looking particularly at Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Belgo is acquiring three upmarket London restaurants for £9.3m - Daphne's, The Collection, and Pasha.

Nikko Europe of Japan has acquired Roadchef, the motorway service station operator, for £174m, having outbid a number of other interested parties.

Ushers of Trowbridge is acquiring The Little Pub Company, which includes 20 pubs, for £6.5m.

Ask Central is to raise £6.4m in a rights issue in order to fund the expansion of its chain of 35 restaurants.

First Choice is acquiring Royal Vacations, the Canadian tour operator, for £1.2m.

Whitbread is planning to open 80 pubs, 80 restaurants, three Marriott hotels, 25 Travel Inn budget hotels, and eight David Lloyd sports centres, creating 5,000 jobs.

Starbucks of the US is acquiring Seattle Coffee, the chain of 56 coffee houses, for £50m, and plans to build up a European chain of 500 stores.

Scottish & Newcastle is to expand its chain of Rat & Parrot bars from 43 to 70, as part of a £21m expansion that will create 1,300 jobs.

David Lloyd is linking up with Scottish & Newcastle to invest £100m in the creation of a chain of family-oriented fitness clubs called the Next Generation, which will include tennis courts and beauty parlours.

Cendant of the US is planning to set up a chain of up to 70 Days Inn and Howard Johnson budget hotels in the UK over the next five years, and has already granted a master franchise to Premier Hotels of Worthing.

Savoy Hotel has been acquired by Blackstone Hotel Acquisitions, the US company controlled by Blackstone and Colony Capital, for £520m.

Punch Taverns is buying 1,428 pubs from Bass, and will invest £40m to increase their profitability.

Carnival Corporation of the US is to buy the Cunard luxury cruise business from Kvaerner for £300m.

Vaux is to acquire Manor Hotels, the operator of three hotels in East Anglia, for £20m.

Waterfall Holdings is buying Radion, the Essex-based chain of pool halls, bowling alleys, health clubs and pubs, in a £14m deal.

Bass has sold its Barcrest gaming machine manufacturing business to International Game Technology of the US for £42m.

Hogg Robinson is acquiring Destination Services Russia, its Russian partner in Business Travel International, for up to £1.4m.

JD Wetherspoon is planning to open a further 50 pubs over the next six months.

Rank Group is acquiring Parkdean Holidays, the provider of self-catering holidays, from Vardon for £38m and will convert the 10 sites to its Haven format.

First Leisure has sold its Riva Clubs chain of 22 bingo clubs to a management team for £38m, in order to focus on health and fitness, bowling and night clubs.

Bass has reached agreement to acquire InterContinental Hotels and Resorts from Saison of Japan for £1.7bn, beating off competition from Marriott International and others.

Trocadero has bought five London bars trading under the Venom, Oxygen, Zoo Bar and Bar Madrid names for £10.5m.

PizzaExpress plans to open at least 30 new restaurants this year, and franchises will also open in Delhi, Moscow, Paris and Cairo.

Enterprise Inns is acquiring Gibbs Mew, the chain of 310 pubs, for £48m and plans to convert 27 managed pubs to tenanted status.

Patriot American Hospitality of the US is to acquire Arcadian International, the UK operator of 12 hotels, for £92m.

Bass has announced the acquisition of four Australian hotels and the Browns chain of seven UK restaurants for a total £80m.