NATIONAL health and fitness club chain David Lloyd is set to launch a new high street venture – in Winchester .

The company, which has built its brand over the past 30 years on a racquets and health club concept, is to open a chain of smaller fitness studios nestled between shops, restaurants and bars.

A first will open next month in Putney, London, followed by a second in a former office in Winchester and another in central London.

The new DL Studios will be less than a quarter of the size of a typical David Lloyd health club and attempt to tap into the growing demand for personal training sessions.

Customers will be able to buy blocks of between three to ten sessions, costing £35 to £55 an hour, rather than paying for membership.

Chief executive Scott Lloyd said the success of the first three studios would be assessed over the next six months. The concept could then be rolled out next year. Mr Lloyd, the son of founder David, said the concept could be “scaled up very quickly” to about 20 a year.

David Lloyd Leisure, which is controlled by London & Regional and Caird Capital, was founded in 1982.

It now has 80 health clubs across the country, including three in Hampshire in Southampton , Port Solent and Ringwood .

The Southampton centre has 11 indoor tennis courts, seven outdoor tennis courts, four badminton courts and three squash courts.