Back to the future as Berwickshire gym will be converted for industry

It is back to the future on an Eyemouth industrial estate as plans for a gym’s conversion to a joinery workshop have been rubber-stamped.

By Paul Kelly
Thursday, 26th May 2022, 6:31 pm
Signage for the Acredale Industrial Estate. Picture from Google.
Signage for the Acredale Industrial Estate. Picture from Google.

In recent times, there has been an increasing tendency for gyms and fitness studios to be established on industrial studios in Berwickshire.

It is a trend that has been reversed in this case with an application from Hamish Elder, of HE Services, in Fort Road, Eyemouth, for the change of use of the former Sparta Gym premises at unit 4 on the town’s Acredale Industrial Estate to house his light fabrication and joinery workshop.

Booming Sparta Gym had vacated unit 4 in January and moved into the nearby units 1 and 2 – after the RNLI moved out.

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Gym owner Alan Bogle said: “We were at unit 4, but we took over units 1 and 2 in the same block at the start of January. It was formerly home to the RNLI (support centre).

“At unit 3 is Live Borders, who run an exercise studio, and number 4 is the vacant premises where the joinery workshop is now going to move in.

“The gym industry is booming. I think it is a post-pandemic thing.

“I’m aware there has been an issue over whether gyms should be located on industrial estates, but my gym has been here in various forms for about 25 years, so we were one of the first.”

In his report supporting the ex-gym’s conversion, Paul Duncan, Scottish Borders Council’s assistant planning officer, says: “The property lies to the eastern end of a row of four industrial units clad in grey metal sheeting with red doors and trim.

“The property has been in use as a gym since the mid-1990s. Neighbouring units include a separate gym/fitness studio that was granted planning permission in 2016.

“Acredale Industrial Estate is designated within Local Development Plan as a business type and industrial safeguarding site.

“The application seeks planning permission for change of use of the premises from a gymnasium to a workshop for light fabrication and joinery work.

“The application property is located within a well-established industrial estate. The proposed site is well away from any residential properties and is inherently suited to business and industrial sites.”