Edinburgh Dragon’s property firm snaps up Stirling investment

SRA Ventures pays out £1.4 million for a second property in the town which it will lease to PureGym

The Edinburgh-based property investment firm led by online ‘Dragon’ Shaf Rasul has acquired PureGym in Stirling as part of a £1.4 million deal that’s set to further enhance its commercial interests in the area.
SRA Ventures says it’s now working closely with what is believed to be the UK’s largest fitness chain, to which it will lease the gym until November 2030 at an initlal rent of £115,000 per annum.
Missives for the 22,000sq ft Upper Craigs property, which is known locally as the former Riley’s Pool & Snooker Club and is a well-known building in the heart of Stirling, have been recently concluded, with SRA citing it as a significant addition to its portfolio.
The move follows the investment specialist’s £600,000 purchase of a two-storey retail property in Port Street in April which is currently let to ‘The Works’ nationwide chain.
SRA Ventures says Stirling represents an excellent platform for growth after being named the best city in Scotland to start a new business in a recent study, while offering great connectivity at a highly competitive cost.
Scots entrepreneur Rasul said: “As the leading provider of 24/7 gym facilities, PureGym is a fantastic chain to work with and we have great belief in its future following a period of rapid expansion since 2008. It’s no coincidence that PureGym is now the UK’s largest operator of its kind with 169 premises and 820,000 members on its books.
“While Brexit has seen the business curtail plans to raise £190m from listing on the stock exchange, we are confident that it retains a recession-proof business model that will continue to flourish.
“We are equally confident that it will prove to be an exceptional tenant for SRA Ventures over the years to come thanks to a close, mutually beneficial relationship that offers top leisure facilities to local people.”
SRA Ventures owns and manages a diverse range of industrial, retail, commercial and mixed use asset properties across Scotland, focusing on under-performing commercial assets.
It was advised on the acquisition by chartered surveyor Graham + Sibbald, which has worked in tandem with SRA on several recent deals.
Partner at Graham + Sibbald Keith Watters said: “We are delighted to have been part of this high-profile acquisition, and are certain that SRA Ventures and PureGym will continue to expand side-by-side in the exciting business growth environment that is Stirling.
“We are also actively working with SRA on several other acquisitions and asset management opportunities, and are hopeful that another couple of deals will crystallise before the end of the year.”
Murray Stewart, head of Real Estate at Edinburgh-based Gilson Gray, said: “As retained legal advisors, we were only too pleased to support SRA Ventures on this major acquisition, helping to progress it to a satisfying conclusion for all parties.
“It is only the latest in a series of instructions that we have advised SRA on and we look forward to concluding several more property investment deals on its behalf in the near future.”
The PureGym announcement is part of a multi-million pound pipeline of SRA deals realised over the last 18 months.