Galashiels gym finally gains change of use authorisation - four years after it opened
No jackets are required at a Tweedbank industrial unit which formerly housed the famous clothing brand Barbour after its change of use to a gym was rubber-stamped by Scottish Borders Council.
Retrospective planning approval has been granted for the RDAS Crossfit gym to operate at Unit E on Tweeddside Park.
The gym has been based at the site since 2017 but its operator was not aware that change of use approval was required and the latest application was made to “redress this situation”.
The existing structure is a steel portal frame building completed in 1996.
It was specifically built as a manufacturing unit for the clothing company Barbour before this was closed down in January 2008.
Afterwards the whole unit was utilised by Plexus as a storage warehouse until 2013.
The building was then purchased by J S Crawford (Borders) Ltd in 2014.
Initially the whole site was to become a campus for Borders College however this arrangement fell through at the eleventh hour. Subsequently as no individual business could be found for the whole site, the building was split into several units.
The main tenants are currently Eurofins (chemical analysis and testing), Renew Green Energy (micro-generation renewables, electrical and mechanical contractors), Kenkleen (laundry and cleaning services) and Eribe (knitwear production).The smaller units include a joiners workshop, a warehouse for an electrical component company and a book depository.
A spokesperson for RDAS Crossfit said: “The gym started more than ten years ago in a small unit in Selkirk with around 40 members. Location and lack of proper industrial type units was always going to prevent us from getting any growth.
"In November 2017, we had the opportunity to relocate to an industrial unit in Tweedbank. With the benefit of a more central location and basically, a fit for purpose unit, we immediately saw the benefits. We now have over 120 members and are still the only CrossFit facility in the Scottish Borders.
“Due to the CrossFit methodology, an industrial unit is ideal for our type of training, with large open space, high ceilings and roller doors for access/egress during workouts. The actual location of the unit is perfect for outdoor running and activities during workouts, as such would not be possible in the centre of a town and that is why the majority of CrossFit gyms are situated in Industrial units.
“With our location, we have a close relationship with the Borders General Hospital where we have numerous members from the NHS. We also do a lot of work, due to our military roots, with local veterans’ charities and have a referral program with them for veterans that need that little bit assistance whether that be mental or physical.
“The gym is not only a gym in the usual sense but offers multi discipline sessions involving weight training, calisthenics, circuit training and cardio.
"The gym employs two full time staff as well as three other part time coaches to handle the 26 scheduled classes each week as well as other training sessions with clients on a more personal basis. The social nature of the classes has helped people that would not usually attend a gym to maintain a long term training programme. The membership currently covers all ages and has more female members which is unlike most gyms in the Borders. The popularity of the sessions has led to the establishment of a women’s weightlifting club.
“With the proposed expansion of Tweedbank, the RDAS Crossfit facility will be a massive asset to the members of the public now seeking out exercise, particularly in these post-Covid times.”