Changing hands three times en route, David Lloyd Leisure has since gone on to open nearly 90 more, both in the UK and across Europe, retaining a strong tennis influence within the brand.
Most clubs are large properties – between 75,000 and 125,000 sq ft – and demand substantial investment to fit out and get going, as well as ongoing cyclical investment to replace the well-used equipment. The market is expensive to enter and has polarised in recent years into premium and budget markets. But there’s not room for everyone, and the oversupply since 2010 has led to business casualties.
For the 2010 Rating List, Gerald Eve’s Leisure team, led by partner Charles Wilford, persuaded the Valuation Office that the changing consumer trends and market conditions, coupled with a stagnation in new development, merited significant reductions in value assessments. On behalf of the health and fitness industry, we headed negotiations that led to age and obsolescence allowances of up to 12.5% on all clubs built before 2005. We were also able to secure further concessions for the industry’s backmarkers, an agreed a framework for further valuation allowances to reflect changes in competition.
In total, our holistic rating service, historic rates audit and other services to DLL have recouped savings of more than £9m over the course of the 2010 Rating List. For a business with a focus on racquet sports, you could call it a great service and an even better return.