A young farmer is sowing the seeds of a health and fitness revolution in the Borders after winning approval to open a 24-hour gym.
Daniel Cowe is taking a sabbatical from his family’s farm near Chirnside to put all his efforts – and a £100,000 in investment – into Titan 365, a gym he’s setting up in a former warehouse at Wheatlands Mill in Galashiels.
A self-confessed fitness fanatic, Daniel, 25, was delighted after Scottish Borders Council approved his conversion plans last week and hopes to open the new facility before the end of the year.
In his report to councillors, council planning officer Carlos Clarke says: “The alternative land use is considered to offer significant benefits to the surrounding area and community that outweigh the need to retain the site in business and industrial use.”
Daniel said the unmanned gym will be open to all, from professional athletes and weightlifters to “Joe Bloggs around the corner who just wants to stay fit and healthy”.
It will feature a large free weights section and an extensive array of pin-loaded machines, as well as stretching areas, cardio machines and an artificial turf space.
Daniel said: “It’s something many of the cities have that we don’t have down here. I want to bring the modern aspect of the fitness world to the Borders.
“I have been working on this for over a year, and to get the go-ahead to crack on and get the job done is massively exciting.
“I’ve got nothing against other gyms in Galashiels and the Borders. I just feel that because we are so sparse and rural, we are always the last to get things.
“In the major cities, we have got these 24-hour gyms, and in this modern day and age people need that.
“It’s not feasible when people are working all kinds of shift patterns to be expected to make it to a gym at a certain time before the doors shut.
“It just gives people that freedom that they don’t have to rush. They can do things at their own pace.”
Daniel is eager to move away from the stereotypical image of gyms as “dank and gritty”.
He said: “I want this place to cater for everybody. We’ll not be dank and gritty.
“I know girls in particular are put off by a hardcore vibe.
“People will have the freedom to come and go as they please as many times in the day as they want.
“We are considering whether to use a fingerprint scanner or a key card system for entry.”
Daniel has the full support of his family as he takes on the challenge, explaining: “I’m in a very lucky position that I’m able to take a step away from the farm right now.”
“My dad Rob did it when he was my age, and I’m chasing this huge passion of mine, which is health and fitness.
“I’m in a very lucky position that dad is allowing me to do that.”