Directors & Senior Management


Mel Dickinson

Peter Boddy

Non Executive Chairman

Peter joined the Group as Non-Executive Chairman in 2014. He also currently holds chairmanships in three other companies: Xercise4Less (the low-cost gym chain); Novus Leisure Ltd, (operator of late night bars and clubs); and The Harley Medical Group, all of which are backed by private equity.

Prior to this, Peter held the positions of CEO or Managing Director in a number of successful private equity backed companies including Fitness First UK, Megabowl Group Ltd and Maxinutrition Ltd. Peter has a degree in Economics from De Montfort University and an MBA from Warwick Business School.

Steve Burns

Stephen Burns

Chief Executive Officer

Stephen joined the Group as Business Development Director in 2011, being promoted to managing director in 2012 and becoming Chief Executive Officer in 2014.

Previously, Stephen worked within the Health and Fitness industry, holding various roles within Cannons Health and Fitness Limited from 1999, becoming Sales and Client Retention Director from 2007 upon the successful acquisition of Cannons Health and Fitness Ltd by Nuffield Health and then becoming Regional Director in 2009. In 2011 Stephen was appointed to the operating board of MWB Business Exchange, a public company specialising in serviced offices, meeting and conference rooms and virtual offices, looking after the CEC and outer London brands.

Laurence Keen

Laurence Keen

Chief Financial Officer

Laurence joined the Group as Finance Director and Company Secretary in 2014. Laurence has a first class degree in Business, Mathematics and Statistics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

He is a qualified ICAEW Chartered Accountant and has also been a Fellow since 2012 (having qualified in 2000). His previous role was UK Development Director for Paddy Power from 2012. He has also held senior retail and finance roles for Debenhams PLC, Pizza Hut (UK) Ltd and Tesco PLC.

Nick Backhouse

Nick Backhouse

Senior Independent Non-Executive Director

Nick joined the Group as Senior Independent Non-Executive Director and will chair the Audit Committee. Nick is the Senior Independent Director of the Guardian Media Group plc, a Non-Executive Director of Marston’s plc where he also chairs the Audit Committee and is a Trustee of Chichester Festival Theatre.

He was previously the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the David Lloyd Leisure Group and a Non-Executive Director of All3Media Ltd. He has also been Group Finance Director of National Car Parks and Chief Financial Officer for each of Freeserve plc and the Laurel Pub Company and was, prior to that, a Board Director of Baring Brothers. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and has an MA in Economics from Cambridge University.

Claire Tiney

Claire Tiney

Non-Executive Director

Claire joined the Group as Non-Executive Director and will chair the Remuneration Committee. Claire has over twenty years’ board level experience encompassing executive and non-executive roles in blue-chip retailing, property development and the services sector, across the UK and Western Europe.

Claire runs her own business as an HR Consultant, executive coach and facilitator, having spent 15 years as an Executive Director in a number of retail businesses including Homeserve plc, Mothercare plc and WH Smith Group plc. Most recently she was HR Director at McArthurGlen Group, the developer and owner of designer outlet villages throughout Europe. She was previously a Non-Executive Director of Family Mosaic and is currently a Non-Executive Director of Volution Plc and of Topps Tiles plc. She has an MBA from Stirling University.

Ivan Schofield

Ivan Schofield

Non-Executive Director

Ivan has extensive experience in the leisure sector in the UK and across Continental Europe, having held a number of senior roles for Yum Brands Inc. over 15 years notably as MD KFC France and Western Europe and, more recently, as CEO of itsu. Earlier in his career, Ivan had significant experience with Unilever and LEK consulting. Ivan holds a Bsc in Economics with Econometrics from the University of Bath, an MBA from INSEAD and is also an accredited Executive Coach.

Senior Management

Mat Hart

Mathew Hart

Commercial Director

Mathew joined the Group as Commercial Director in January 2015. He has 23 years of commercial, marketing, e-commerce and general management experience across the travel, leisure and healthcare sectors.

He has held executive positions at Holiday Autos (Managing Director), (Group Marketing Director), Cannons Health Clubs (Group Marketing and Commercial Director), Nuffield Health (Group Marketing Director) and Encore Tickets (Group Marketing Director).

Mel Dickinson

Mel Dickinson

Talent Director

Melanie was appointed Talent Director in October 2012. She has 15 years of HR experience across the leisure and hospitality sectors.

Starting her career in retail operations before moving into HR, Melanie has held HR roles at Pizza Express, Holmes Place Health Clubs and Pizza Hut UK; as well as obtaining a post graduate diploma in Personnel and Development.

Most recently, she headed the People function at Zizzi Restaurants, part of the Gondola group.

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