Joanne Bannatyne creates 10 jobs with new fitness centre

Tees Business Digital Media Pack


A bike-based workout loved by celebrities has been brought to the North East by Joanne Bannatyne – ex-wife of Dragons’ Den entrepreneur Duncan.

Joanne has opened WattCycle, a new fitness centre at Teesside Industrial Estate, on the outskirts of Ingleby Barwick in Stockton-on-Tees, with her business partner, former Royal Marines commando Lee Howe.

WattCycle offers a hard-core aerobic workout using special hi-tech ‘Wattbikes’ and users can complete a highly-effective workout in as little as 15 minutes.

Joanne and Lee believe the bike-based fitness movement is about to take the UK by storm and have invested more than £75,000 into the new venture, creating 10 full and part-time jobs.

With 27 Wattbikes, the WattCycle centre is thought to be the largest of its kind outside London.

Joanne and Lee, who also own five popular CrossFit ‘boxes’ across the North East run by head coaches who own their affiliation, are now busy finalising plans for a second WattCycle centre, details of which they hope to announce in the coming weeks.

Versions of the cycling workouts are already popular in the US with celebrities like David and Victoria Beckham, Lady Gaga and Jessica Alba reported to be huge fans.

WattCycle is taking it to a whole new level – the ‘Wattbikes’ have an advanced operating system, allowing them to tune in to the user, adjusting resistance and speed to meet the fitness level of the person in the saddle.

Wattbikes are packed with the latest technology that tracks the user’s performance and kicks out an extensive amount of electronic data.

They’re used by British Cycling at all levels of the sport. Wattbike ambassadors include triathlete Lucy Gossage, Olympic cycling champion Joanna Rowsell, England Rugby captain Tamara Taylor and England Rugby forward Tom Youngs.

Joanne said: “You don’t have to be a cyclist to use the bikes, they are for everyone, it doesn’t matter whether you already work out or not, that’s the beauty of them, you can start as a beginner and the coaches at WattCycle will guide you every step of the way.

“The classes and routines we’ve developed using the bikes mean that everyone, from a complete beginner to a competitive athlete, can get a workout that’s tailored to their individual levels of fitness.

“It’s about functional fitness, it’s for those who want to see results and we know once people try it they’ll be hooked.

“Seeing their performance in real terms – facts and figures – means people try harder to achieve the results they want, they push themselves further, and the data they provide allows those with a competitive streak to compete against their friends.”

WattCycle is sponsoring the Stockton Duathlon Festival taking place at Stockton Riverside on Sunday, April 26, when more than 800 athletes will ‘run–cycle–run’. The team is running an official warm up area for participants.

Joanne said: “We were delighted to sponsor the duathlon, it’s a major sporting event and we are thrilled to be a part of it.

“We’ll be at Stockton Riverside all day Sunday so if anyone wants to drop by and have a go on one of the bikes they’d be very welcome.”


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