Ex-wife of Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne opening gym in Hartlepool

Joanne Bannatyne and business partner Lee Howe.

Joanne Bannatyne and business partner Lee Howe.

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THE ex-wife of a leading entrepreneur and television personality is bringing a new gym to Hartlepool.

Joanne Bannatyne and her business partner Lee Howe are opening a branch of the fast-growing fitness regime CrossFit on the Park View Industrial Estate.

It has had “considerable investment” – even including wall art done by a graffiti artist from Barcelona.

Joanne, the former wife of Dragons’ Den star Duncan Bannatyne, said: “We want to bring CrossFit to the masses. It is what fitness is about and it gets results.”

The gym will be called CrossFit Telic Hartlepool and is one of three planned in the area by Joanne, as well as Team Valley and Belmont in Durham City. She already operates a branch in Darlington.

The Hartlepool project is a joint venture with former Royal Marine Lee who also runs CrossFit Teesside on the Teesside Industrial Estate in the Thornaby area.

CrossFit Telic will open on November 20 but before then there will be a two-week introduction strength and conditioning period where people can learn more.

Joanne, who split from her multi-millionaire husband in 2011, explained why she chose Hartlepool.

“We have people from here who travel to CrossFit Teesside and we figured that Hartlepool needed this facility.

“I am really pleased to be here. I visit regularly and I have got to know the place really well over the last few years.

“I have been going to the hairdressers in Hartlepool for years and I have got a real feel for the place, for the town and for the people.

“I think Hartlepool is really vibrant and it is perfect for a CrossFit.” Joanne said Hartlepool was a lovely town which deserved to be better appreciated.

CrossFit Telic will at first employ two staff both trained under CrossFit’s own regime, although it will eventually have a core staff of six people.

It operates on the principles of clients learning a series of core movements based on strength and agility. But rather than concentrating on machines, it involves people training using techniques based around the body’s natural movements.

Lee said CrossFit would differ from other Hartlepool gyms because it would train for performance whereas the others “train for anatomy.”

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