Sports Direct is to open a brand new fitness club at its store in Olympia House in Newport city centre this month (December 2015).

The opening of big brand retailer Sports Direct’s new retail store in the building in August sparked a flurry of lettings, with deals signed on all of the remaining 13 retail units on the lower levels of the former Passport Office building.  Retailers were keen to take advantage proximity to the new Sports Direct as well as Newport’s transformation into a retail destination with the launch of the Friar’s Walk Shopping Centre in November.

One of the most significant retail lettings in the city centre in the last five years, Sports Direct signed a 50-year agreement with the jv partnership between Richard Hayward Properties and the Tonstate Group.  The retailer took over the space previously occupied by Marks & Spencer on the upper first & second floors of the building and created nearly 40 jobs.

The new store showcases the latest brands and includes dedicated areas for running, outdoor, football, golf and much more. Now, there is also a new fitness club which offers gym goers the opportunity to work out in exceptional facilities with prices starting at as little as £5 per month. Perfect for any sport enthusiast!

RHP and Tonstate are now waiting for grant approval for the redevelopment of the rest of the 90,000 sq ft Olympia House. Built in the 1960s, the 9-storey building currently comprises retail on the lower levels with six floors of offices above. The jv partners plan to transform the office space into 62 residential units for private rental.

Principal of Richard Hayward Properties, Richard Hayward said: “As soon as we announced that Sports Direct was to open in Olympia House, we were flooded with enquiries from other retailers eager to get on board.

“There has some concern about new Friars Walk Shopping Centre – which opened in November – and the impact it might have on the rest of Newport. Our experience at Olympia House shows that there also strong demand for space outside the scheme in the traditional retail heart of Newport, which is excellent news for the future of the city centre. “

As one of the largest buildings in Newport, the redevelopment of Olympia House as new homes will support the ongoing regeneration of the city, helping to bring residents back into the centre creating a more vibrant atmosphere and a greater sense of community.

This is one of a number of projects RHP is working on in Newport, others include a new 60-bed Premier Inn and more residential above the Tesco Express, all of which are supporting its regeneration, creating jobs and acting as a catalyst for further investment by others.