A BOOMING boutique fitness business established in a Borders town post-lockdown is seeking a first home on a town industrial site.

Kieran Douglass founded KD Fit in May 2021 amid post-Covid restrictions, having previously worked for Live Borders taking exercise classes and swimming lessons for adults and children.

KD Fit currently runs 14 fitness classes every week with two-thirds held outdoors in various public parks around Kelso and remaining sessions held in the town’s Ednam Village Hall, which is hired at the cost of £200 a month.

Now Mr Douglass has submitted a change of use planning application to Scottish Borders Council to operate from a vacant unit at C&R Tyres, located at Station Yard in Kelso’s Sprouston Road.

A supporting statement from the applicant’s agent, Kelso-based chartered accountants FBR Seed, said Mr Douglass had initially started with 31 members and that in 14 months numbers had grown to 85.

The statement added: “KD Fit has built a strong community who rally round one another when in need. Members recently raised £6,000 for ‘Team Lukas’, to support a young boy in Kelso in need of additional medical care to help him overcome a stroke following a cardiac arrest when he was four.

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“A successful change of use application will give KD Fit a permanent unit to offer sessions to individuals and groups within the community of Kelso. As a result, Kieran’s business can continue to grow, supporting the local economy in a time when many rural towns are seeing business closures.

“Such a business needs a large floor area, therefore without having a purpose-built unit or continuing to hire local village halls such a business would be unable to operate in Kelso due to a lack of suitable buildings, unless a change of use was permitted.

“In the case of C&R Tyres, they have recently invested in their business and built a purpose-built unit within their own grounds. However, as their clientèle ranges from cars to articulated lorries and tractors, they need to leave the yard area free for customers throughout the day. This has mean that finding a tenant for the original building has proven difficult, with haulage firms being turned away. The parties agreed that KD Fit would really complement the unit, with minimal overlap during trading hours.

“Furthermore, of the three local gym facilities in Kelso, two are units either historically used or proposed to be used for industrial use, showing that not only is there demand to convert units, but precedents have been set to convert industrial to leisure in recent years.”