SPORTS Direct’s decision to buy the Frasers building in Glasgow in a move that saves 800 jobs, has been hailed as a “tremendous boost” for the city’s retail and commercial property sectors.

The firm has vowed to create the “Harrods of the North” after clinching a £95 million deal to buy the Buchanan Street building through Glasgow City Council, which is the administering authority for the Strathclyde Pension Fund.

The retailer said it will continue to operate the 350,000sq ft site as Frasers and will invest in the property to “further elevate and enhance this iconic department store”.

Plans for its revamp are being driven by its House of Fraser brand, which itself was bought by Sports Direct after collapsing into administration in August.

Glasgow Chamber of Commerce deputy chief executive Richard Muir said: “An investment of this magnitude is a tremendous boost for Glasgow’s retail and commercial property sectors.

“It is testament to the city centre’s offering as a leading retail and leisure destination, with the sectors contributing £5.46 billion to the region’s economy as well as generating over 33,000 full-time jobs.

“The £95m purchase of the House of Fraser building will safeguard 800 jobs while saving an iconic retail destination that has been a fixture in Glasgow since 1849.

“Buchanan Street is a prime shopping hub and is also achieving rental growth in a market that is otherwise slow, with numerous new brands including Victoria’s Secret and Nespresso setting up shop in recent months.

“This is great news for Glasgow as we continue to evolve with the ever-changing retail market and encourage millions of visitors to our city each year.”

The deal is set to be completed in January 2020.

House of Fraser said the “Harrods of the North” vision would be realised with the site continuing to host luxury brand names including Hermes, Christian Louboutin, Prada and Gucci.

Michael Murray, head of elevation at Sports Direct, said: “We are overwhelmed and proud to own such an iconic destination.

“Acquiring the freehold enables us to elevate and invest in the store in order to partner with a broad range of luxury brands in future.

“This is fantastic news for all parties.”

Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “A major investment on this kind of scale is a clear vote of confidence in Glasgow, and credit must also go to hundreds of Frasers staff who are absolutely integral to the business’s success and its enduring popularity with city shoppers.

“With the future of this iconic retailer’s Glasgow presence secured, we look forward to the new owners building on its cherished relationship with shoppers and reputation as a valued city employer for almost 170 years,” she added.