Retail good news
18th July 2011
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What retailers do you think Stafford needs?


There are always moans about the choice of retailers in the town centre but this month has seen two very positive announcements Stafford Borough Council and Staffordshire County Council revealed that property investor LXB Retail Properties has snapped up the old Riverside Recreation Centre site in the town, together with the leasehold interest in the Bridge Street multi-storey car park and that M&S will move to a much larger town centre store at the  Riverside location. The shop will be spread across the ground floor of the new Riverside development. The high street favorite will provide the vast majority of the 650 new jobs being created by the £70 million shopping complex.

M&S already has a branch in Gaolgate Street but the new store will be bigger. It has been hoped for some time the retailer would expand its presence in the town but this is the first confirmation.

The two councils are also in advanced talks with LXB over the purchase of the town’s Kingsmead car park site which they have been marketing since 2009.
LXB say outline terms have already been conditionally agreed to lease the “anchor” store on the Riverside site to a major retailer.

It is expected the schemes will create around 650 jobs and provide more than 1,600 car parking spaces.

The former recreation centre land, now a car park, would provide 220,000sq ft of retailing while the Kingsmead site has been earmarked for retail development of 70,000sq ft.

A planning application is expected to be submitted within months with construction work anticipated to start next year.

Council leader Councillor Mike Heenan, said: “This is tremendous news. The boost to our economy will be far more than the £70 million value put on the schemes, and it demonstrates that Stafford is a place where companies want to invest.”

What retailers do you think need attracting to the town to reverse the number of people visiting Birmingham, Stoke on Trent and other towns? How can we help fill shops already empty?

The news comes after online retailer Amazon announced it was creating 900 new jobs in nearby Rugeley. It fantastic new for Stafford and Staffordshire that these long awaited developments are now going ahead

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