PLANS to convert Cwmbran’s former House of Fraser store for new use as a 24-hour gym have been lodged with Torfaen Borough Council.
A planning application for new shopfronts and entrances has also confirmed the name of the gym operator that will take over the upper floors of the building in Gwent Square.
Details of a £4.1 million Welsh Government-backed makeover of the store in the Cwmbran Centre as a new ‘flagship’ fashion retailer and gym were revealed in April.
Permission is being sought to divide the former ground floor into three retail units while the first and second floors would be a gym.
The gym will be operated by sports and fashion retailer JD Sports, which has previously announced plans to open its JD Gyms brand in Cwmbran at an undisclosed location.
A statement submitted as part of the planning application has confirmed JD intends to open in the former department store that was crucial to the development of the shopping centre in the 1960s when it opened as the David Evans department store.
The statement reads: “The new proposals include use of the upper floors (first and second floors) as a 24/7 gym for JD Sports.”
There will be an entrance to gym from the ground floor and the plans show the majority of the ground floor area will be used for a sports retail store, with plans indicating it will have the JD branding.
The statement claims the gym, and other uses, will provide a boost to the town centre and the Cwmbran Centre which is described as the second largest shopping centre in Wales.
“The proposals will ensure the reuse of this important building in the town centre with a range of town centre uses. As a result, the proposals will enhance the vitality and viability of the town centre with new uses with the refurbishment of the building.”
The application has been submitted on behalf of shopping centre owners L&C Investments, which acquired the centre from M&G Investments in late 2021, by Bristol-based agents D2 Planning.
In April this year Torfaen Council agreed it would accept a Welsh Government grant of £2.5 million which it will hand to the shopping centre’s owners to help fund the redevelopment of the store, with the owners putting up £1,590,778 which is 38 per cent of the total.