New 24 hour gym could open in Elgin

The firm wishes to transform an unused 5,550sq ft unit at the Elgin Retail Park

A fitness firm has lodged plans to transform a vacant building at a Moray retail park into a gym that will be open 24 hours a day.

The local authority’s planning and regulatory services committee will meet today to discuss an application that has been filed by the Anytime Fitness company.

The company intends to transform an unused 5,550sq ft unit at the Elgin Retail Park on Edgar Road, next to Home Bargains, into an exercise suite that will remain open around the clock, seven days a week.

Their blueprint for the building includes creating a main gym area in the centre with a studio, weight rooms, changing facilities, an office and adjoining reception.

The company have asked the authority to approve a change of use for the unoccupied unit from retail to leisure, in a move that will create eight new full-time jobs in the town and several part-time positions.

Moray Council planning officers have compiled a report urging elected representatives to back the scheme.

It says that developing the unit, which has lain vacant for years, will “increase footfall and vitality within the existing retail park”.

The report added: “The gym would encourage health and fitness within the local community.”

The fitness firm originally attempted to find a base for the venture in the centre of Elgin, but the condition of the buildings and lack of parking made the possible venues unsuitable.

Anytime Fitness, which is American-owned and has its base in Minnesota, operates more than 3,000 gyms in 20 countries.

But its only other Scottish premises are based in Edinburgh and Glasgow. The five-unit Elgin Retail Park at Edgar Road was built in December 2007.