New Go Outdoors store plan could create up to 50 jobs

Go Outdoors plans to open an outlet in the B&Q store in Gilesgate, Durham
Go Outdoors plans to open an outlet in the B&Q store in Gilesgate, Durham

Up to 50 jobs could be created with the opening of a new outdoor equipment outlet in Durham.

Developer Aviva Investors Limited has applied for permission to create a 1,394 sq.m mezzanine floor within the vacant section of a shop unit at the Durham City Retail Park in Gilesgate Moor.

The proposal will contribute positively to local economic growth and employment opportunities in the local area.

Committee report

The new floor would allow national retailer Go Outdoors to move into the building, which is already partly occupied by DIY giant B&Q.

Supermarket chain Morrisons had originally intended to take over the space left empty after a reduction in the size of the B&Q store, but pulled out.

The application will be considered by Durham County Council’s planning services committee on Tuesday, when members will be recommended to approve the scheme.

A report to the committee outlines the background to the application: “The proposed development will allow Go Outdoors, a national sports goods retailer, to occupy part of the vacant Unit 1,” it says.

“Once opened, Go Outdoors would employ up to 50 members of staff, split between full time and part time roles within the store. The proposal will, therefore, contribute positively to local economic growth and employment opportunities in the local area.

“Unit 1 has been vacant for a number of years, following the downsize of the B&Q store, and Morrisons’ withdrawal from the scheme. A number of applications have been approved since 2014 to allow the vacant building to be re-occupied and brought back into active economic use.

“A mezzanine floor of 1,114sqm within the unit was approved in 2016 to allow Go Outdoors to occupy the unit. The business requirements of Go Outdoors have since changed, and they require a slightly larger floor area at mezzanine level.

“The proposed mezzanine floor will be used for the display of large and bulky items, such as tents, camping equipment and outdoors sports equipment.”

Go Outdoors has already signed a pre-lease agreement on the site, subject to planning permission for the new floor being granted, and plans to move in this year.