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PureGym eyes disused shoe shop for first Inverness branch

Plans have been lodged to open at PureGym at Inshes Retail Park, Inverness.
Inshes Retail Park, Inverness. Picture by Sandy McCook.

A disused Inverness shoe shop could be turned into the first branch of fitness chain PureGym in the north.

Developers are hoping to turn the former Brantano store at Inshes Retail Park into a fitness centre.

The unit has been lying empty since 2017 when the European footwear chain went into administration.

Greenridge Inverness Propco Ltd has applied to Highland Council to change it from a shop into a 24-hour gym, and install a 1,500sq ft mezzanine floor.

An agreement has already been reached for PureGym to occupy the building if permission is granted.

The planning documents state the idea emerged following a “recognised commercial gap in budget gym provision” in the area.

They say the facility would be in a good location to serve a number of “distinct” communities, with a “notable proportion” of Invernessians living within walking or cycling distance, or along key bus routes.

“Importantly,” the documents say, “Inshes Retail Park is also in closer proximity to many households in south-west and east Inverness than Inverness city centre or either of the other two defined commercial centres.”

Estate agent Savills, which compiled the planning application, said the empty unit has been “extensively marketed” on behalf of the previous landlord since Brantano’s 2017 collapse.

It added: “No credible retail interest has been expressed since this time.

“This is indicative of the prevailing retail climate where lease expiries, business failures and a background of low occupational demand combine to create challenging circumstances for landlords seeking to ensure their centres retail good vitality and viability.”

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