Former supermarket mogul Ben Dunne is expanding his fitness club empire with new centres in Germany and England while doing battle with eco-warriors, according to The Sunday Times.

Dunne owns 76% of FitX, which is due to open its third low-cost gym in Germany next March. He has invested €1.5m in the venture so far, he told the newspaper. On October 20, he is due to open his fourth gym in Ireland – an €800,000, no-frills centre in Jervis Street in Dublin.

Dunne is also planning to open another gym in Liverpool and possibly one in London at Motspur Park, where he owns the site of the former BBC staff sports club. The ever-flexible Dunne though is keeping his options open regarding the latter: when planning for a leisure complex was initially turned down, he applied to build a cemetery. This too was turned down.

Last week Dunne was forced to increase security on the vacant site when a group of eco-warriors met and proposed to squat there and grow vegetables for the local community.

“They’ll find it difficult to get in. I don’t know what I’m going to do with the site, but I’m not giving it to no eco-warrior,” Dunne said.


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