‘Dragon’ Duncan Bannatyne roars into business in Bury St Edmunds

Duncan Bannatyne at Clarice House
Clarice House, Horringer Court, Horringer Road,  Bury St. Edmunds
Launch party with Duncan Bannatyne and guest of honour Mayor Patrick Chung

Picture Mark Westley ANL-160225-082627009
Duncan Bannatyne at Clarice House Clarice House, Horringer Court, Horringer Road, Bury St. Edmunds Launch party with Duncan Bannatyne and guest of honour Mayor Patrick Chung Picture Mark Westley ANL-160225-082627009
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Businessman and television star Duncan Bannatyne unveiled the results of a £750,000 renovation and refurbishment at his Bury St Edmunds health club on Wednesday night and promised: “There’s more to come.”

Clarice House, which was boiught by the Bannatyne Group in September, hosted the former Dragon’s Den and I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here performer and more than 300 guests at an event to reveal the new look gym area at the rear of the property.

The gym area was officially opened by town mayor Patrick Chung.

After buying the business, Mr Bannatyne set up members’ forum meetings to find out where improvements and invest was required. He has since had state-of-the-art fitness equipment installed and remobelled the interior as well as creating three sound-proof, air conditioned fitness studios.

As well as the fitness facilities, Clarice House - on the A143 just outside Bury - has a 13-bedroom hotel, spa and restaurant, all of which will be improved, said the new owner.

“I see this as a great opportunity,” said Mr Bannatyne. ”And we bel0ieve the investment is worth it. There will be more to come.”

He said membership was just below 2,000 and he wanted to see that increase to 3,000 as quickly as possible: “because that makes the whole enterprise sound, to know you have that ongoing support.”

He said he wanted to create a restaurant which would enhance Bury’s eating house reputation, like at his Hastings business.

And he wants to attract customers from a wide area.

“One of the attractions of Bury St Edmunds is its location. You can get here in less than two hours driving up from London. i know you can, because that’s what I’ve done today,” he said.