Karen Wilkinson has been appointed to the Board of  Darlington-based Bannatyne Fitness.  Karen has worked at the Bannatyne Group for nearly 13 years and will undertake the new and enlarged role of Group CX (customer experience) and Spa Director, which will cover all elements of the business including hotel, health clubs and spas, as well as Head Office.

Karen, who graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in Sports Science, Recreational Management and Physical Education, joined the Bannatyne Group as national spa manager in 2007 and was appointed group head of spa in 2012 and later as group spa director.

Since 2009 she has delivered significant net profit growth year on year from £1.3m to £7.8m in 2018, through new income streams and technology improvements, which supported growth of the spa business, which accounts for 25% of the company’s EBITDA.

Karen has an extensive background in leading leisure organisations, managing complex operational programmes to meet strategic objectives within agreed timescales.  She successfully led the opening of 15 new spas, managing the path from concept to opening.

Duncan Bannatyne, executive chairman of the Bannatyne Group, said: “Karen has been a loyal and extremely competent colleague and will bring experience, skills and a new perspective to the Board.

“The role of customer experience director is particularly important to the company. Our members and guests are the lifeblood of the business and all our focus is on providing the best service and the best facilities.  Karen’s input into this will be invaluable.

“On behalf of the Board I welcome Karen and am looking forward to working with her.”