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Chronicle Live
Coreena Ford

Frasers Group reveals plans for new gym in massive Metrocentre megastore

Retail giant Frasers Group has unveiled detailed plans for its Metrocentre megastore which will encompass all its major brands – as well as a gym.

The shopping empire owned by Mike Ashley has previously announced plans for a massive store at the Gateshead shopping and leisure complex. In August the firm revealed it has signed a 15-year deal with the Metrocentre Partnership to take up the 130,000sqft unit in the Red Mall.

The Metrocentre already has a branch of Flannels and a separate Sports Direct elsewhere in Gateshead, which will close when the retailer moves to the new Metrocentre unit, but the new store is part of moves to create a number of UK flagship sites bringing everything under one roof. As part of the deal, Next Beauty & Home will move from the unit into its store in the Green Mall.

Read more: Metrocentre and Eldon Square announce bumper number of store openings

Now a planning application outlining the works needed to create the huge site has been submitted, revealing the sheer size and scale of the project, as well as previously unannounced plans for the gym. Jigsaw Planning has submitted the plans, outlining how Frasers Group intend to occupy the former Debenhams unit - part of which is currently taken up by Next Home – across the ground, first and second floors with their Flannels, Sports Direct, Evans Cycles and Game retail brands. On the second floor Frasers Group also propose to open its gym brand, Everlast Gym.

Sports Direct retail will take up around 64,700sqft of space on the first floor, incorporating an area for Evans Cycles across 1,000sqft. Across the ground floor the company’s luxury fashion brand Flannels will take up a whopping 72,672sqft. The new addition of the Everlast Gym will be on the first floor, the plans show, taking up 33,800sqft of space including changing areas, two treatment rooms and a large reception area.

Meanwhile, the first floor will also include a retail area as well as a Game shop. It will also include a Belong gaming area.

Michael Murray, CEO of Flannels, is creating the flagship North East store alongside similar ventures in Leeds and Cardiff.

On announcing plans for the stores, he said: “Our plans to expand with a series of new experience-orientated flagships, demonstrates how we’re doubling down on our commitment to ‘new luxury’ and bringing world-class experiences to untapped markets. Our expansion plans not only demonstrate the confidence we have in our strategy, but they also show our continued belief in the future of the UK’s high streets, which through our stores, we aim to re-ignite.”


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