A gym will fill a brand new mezzanine floor at the former Toys“R”Us at Preston’s Deepdale shopping centre.
It also means a Sports Direct shop, which is based at the retail park, will relocate into the space, which has been empty since April 2018.
Preston’s planning development committee gave the plans the green light at a meeting on Thursday.
Addressing councillors an agent for the development said: “Sports Direct is to move from its existing smaller unit to move to this larger unit.
“At a time when retailers are having to close, Sports Direct is investing. The gym will help promote healthy life styles.”
The go-ahead is key to unlocking a cluster of shops at the space which will also see high-end fashion store Flannels introduced, an Evans Cycles and an Everlast Fitness Club gym.
In order to accommodate for the gym Sports Direct wants the 2,442sqm mezzanine floor built.
Planning documents from Indigo Planning on behalf of The Deepdale Co-Ownership Trust, state: “The proposal seeks to facilitate the occupation of the unit, bringing new retailers to the shopping park, in addition to a new use, the gym.
“Not only would this create investment and new jobs, but it would increase opportunities for and encourage fitness and healthy lifestyles.
“It would serve the visitors to the shopping park, as well as the local residential area.”
Now that the new mezzanine floorspace has been approved the move will mean an “estimated 24 full time jobs and 90 part time jobs, plus 30 gym class instructors.”