The former Beales store in Skipton town centre is to be transformed.

Just two months after it closed, work has started to convert the site between Swadford Street and the bus station into a gym and a small department store.

The site will also become home to up to 60 individual businesses all under the umbrella of Ripon-based Handpicked Hall.

Owner Anthony Blackburn launched the first Handpicked Hall in October after his department store failed.

He put up a sign in the window and just three months later the store was full with 32 individual businesses, renting out space from just £10 a day.

“I am really excited about coming to Skipton, I think there is huge potential and I want to give local businesses the opportunity to trade in the High Street at affordable rates,” he said.

The trading space will be open seven days a week and stall holders will be given the support of a team of advisors, who will help with business advice and make sure the stalls are run correctly.

Not all those who apply for a space will be successful and applicants will have to undergo an interview to make sure only quality items go on sale.

“I already have 15 people interested, eight of whom started in Ripon and now want to come to Skipton too,” said Mr Blackburn.

Handpicked Hall will occupy the ground floor, along with value store, Boyes, which also has a branch in Ilkley.

On the first floor, sharing space with Boyes, will be Colne based gym, Intershape Fitness.