Sportswear tycoon Mike Ashley has lodged plans for a multi-million-pound development that could bring almost 100 jobs to Dundee.
The billionaire owner of Newcastle United is hoping to spend £5 million on Scotland’s first Sports Direct retail outlet and gym at the Stack Leisure Park in Lochee.
If given the green light, the outlet, which will be spread over two floors, is expected to bring a total of 96 jobs to the area.
The proposed site was last in use as the Venue nightclub, but has lain empty for more than 10 years.
A planning application submitted to the city council by GVA on behalf of Sports Direct and site owners TJ Morris Limited has described how Dundee was “the first choice” to locate the combined gym and sportswear store.
It said: “The city of Dundee has been specifically targeted by Sports Direct for such a proposal.
“This planning application at the Stack Leisure Park is the result of 18 months of effort to ensure these proposals were situated within Dundee, and specifically the Stack.
“The proposal represents a £5 million investment in the Stack and this unit. This includes the fit-out, site preparation and overall investment from the landlord and Sports Direct in this proposal.
“This level of private sector investments is clearly a significant benefit to Lochee and the wider Dundee area.
“The proposed change of use will ensure the leisure use remains at the Park while introducing a complementary retail use offering real choice to the surrounding residents.”
Sports Direct already operate a retail store in the Overgate centre and recently signed a new 10-year lease on the unit.
If the gym and store development goes ahead, it will become only the second in the UK.
The other is at Aintree, in Liverpool.
A statement supporting the application added: “The proposals represent an exciting opportunity to not only enhance the quality of shopping provision within Lochee but also deliver the first Sports Direct retail and gym outlet in Scotland.”