A 286-page Keynote report on the UK leisure and recreation market,
with data up to June 2001, is available for free (!) in pdf format on
the Keynote site at:
For your convenience, I have summarised the pertinent details on
market leaders in your sectors of interest in my answer below.
However, the report contains much, much more information, for example
on patterns of spending, key trends and developments, PEST and SWOT
analyses, etc. It also covers home-based leisure activities, sports
activities and the mass media.
For your further convenience, I carried out separate searches to find
the web sites of the companies listed below, which should provide you
with the latest details on their holdings, etc. This also allowed me
the opportunity to update any changes in company structure, mergers
The report makes the general point that while conglemerates tried to
dominate the leisure and recreation market from the 1970s, the trend
since the early 1990s is towards specialist independent companies.
There are nearly 50,000 pubs or pub-restaurants in the UK, so the
report is of the opinion that the multiples are relatively minor
players in the overall market, where independence is particularly
The leading multiples, in terms of outlets owned by them in 2001 are
Nomura International (5,300 pubs)
Punch Taverns (5,200 pub-restaurants)
Enterprise Inns plc (3,400 pubs) and Laurel Pub Company (2,500 pubs)
NB Enterprise bought out Laurel in 2002 putting it on par with Nomura
Enterprise's estate now consists of 5,266 leased and tenanted pubs
Scottish & Newcastle (2,500 pubs, pub-restaurants and hotels)
Six Continents previously known as Bass (2,000 pubs, pub-restaurants
NB In October 2002, Six Continents split into two companies,
Intercontinental Hotels and Mitchell & Butler
Mitchells & Butlers is the UK's leading operator of managed pubs,
bars and restaurants offering eating, drinking and entertainment for
our customers in over 2,000 outlets.
Pubmaster (2,000 pubs)
Of the regional brewers, Wolverhampton & Dudley
and Greene King
are the two largest, each with over 100 pubs. JD Wetherspoon with 400
pubs is singled out as the largest and most successful of the smaller
companies that concentrate on their own distinctive pub concept.
Wetherspoon is the fastest-growing company in the UK and the ninth
The report points out that local authorities are still the major
providers of such facilities. Companies that are leading health-club
Whitbread (David Lloyd and Marriot brands) with 300,000 members at 110
Fitness First with 210,000 members at 90 sites
Esporta with 167,000 members at 37 sites
Cannons (inc Courtneys) with 160,000 members at 57 sites
Holmes Place with 132,000 members at 42 sites
Hilton Group (Living Well brand) with 115,000 members at 88 sites
De Vere (inc Village and Greens) with 98,000 at 41 sites
NB the web site mentions only 29 sites
LA Leisure (LA Fitness) with 68,000 members at 30 sites
Crown Sports (Fitness Express and Dragons brands) with 65,000 members
at 36 sites
NB web site mentions 40 sites
The only major players in this market listed in the report are:
Gala Group Ltd (bought out the Ritz and Riva chains)
The Rank Group plc (Mecca bingo clubs)
Both these groups also operate casinos.
There are also over 450 bingo clubs in the UK owned by very small
groups or independents.
There was no mention of market leaders in the provision of bowling
centres in the Keynote report.
An article on bowling from the Ten Pin Bowling Association states:
The market has developed and now the trend is to build large
entertainment complexes to attract people to many different
activities. Bowling centres now tend to part of leisure developments
that include multi-screen cinemas, restaurants and night clubs
offering a huge choice in leisure entertainment and keeping them very
You can find a directory of 130 bowling centres in the UK at Bowl UK
One name that crops up frequently in that directory is AMF Bowling,
which has 35 centres
Search strategy: 1. leisure recreation UK "market leaders 2.
bowling centres UK 3. separate searches on company names
I hope this has provided you with the information you were seeking,
but please request further clarification if required.