Sports shop set to leave Richmond to remain viable

Gilsan Sports in Richmond Market Place.

A sports shop is looking to move out of its Richmond store due in part to problems customers have parking in the Market Place.

A planning application has been submitted to Richmondshire District Council to convert a vacant unit at Moor Park, Melsonby into a showroom and warehouse for Gilsan Sports.

The company has operated a shop in Richmond since 1993. A sports shop has been situated at the site for several decades previously.

When it first opened, the store sold a wide range of sports goods for football, rugby, cricket etc, as well as shooting equipment.

However, in documents submitted to the council, Gilsan director Simon Fenwick said this had become unsustainable as they did not have the storage or buying power to compete with companies such as Sports Direct and Mountain Warehouse, which had moved to the area.

Mr Fenwick said they wanted to move to new premises in Melsonby to grow and remain competitive by focusing on the shooting market.

The company says Moor Park would be ideal for serving customers from across the region as it is just off the A66 and A1.

The company lists a lack of storage and shop floor space, problems with loading and unloading at the store and being unable to take pallet deliveries because of cobbles and thevhill in the market place as reasons for the decision to move.

It adds that the two-hour parking limited in Richmond town centre is insufficient for purchasing guns and customers have received parking tickets in the past.

It says poor parking has also deterred repeat customers, with some unhappy about taking heavy guns and ammunition a long way to their parked vehicle.

The document adds that some members of the general public are also uncomfortable about viewing firearms.

The company says the new premises would have a purpose built showroom which would offer customers and improved shopping experience, with storage facilities that would mean the business could buy in bulk.

As well as securing the company’s eight staff, it will allow the firm to launch an apprenticeship scheme.

The new Gilsan Sports shop would operate in a vacant unit owned by Bon Coeur Fine Wines.

Gilsan Sports owns its Richmond premises and says it would lease the building to another shop better suited to the town entre location.

The Leyburn shop will continue to serve customers in the Dales, it adds.