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Town not feeling the heat over Iceland closure

 
Created on 17/08/2018 @ 07:48
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Welshpool planners say they are not “overly concerned” by the departure of supermarket giants Iceland next month, but are making proactive moves anyway to promote the town to potential new retailers.

The supermarket will bid farewell to Welshpool when its Puzzle Square lease expires next month, with the loss of nine jobs.

It creates a huge black hole in the town centre and follows the closure of prominent town centre businesses NatWest Bank and Norman R Lloyd, who crossed the road to join MMP’s offices.

Despite this, the recent Town Centre Survey showed that Welshpool’s retail space enjoys 94.5% occupancy, much better than most towns across the country.

“We are not overly concerned but we never sit back and just moan,” said Town Clerk, Robert Robinson. “If we can help to get the few shops we have empty occupied then that has to be good.”

The town centre has come under increasing pressure from the retail park where Aldi, B&M, Card Factory and Specsavers have opened over the past year.

At this week’s Planning, Development and Environment Committee meeting, councillors agreed that the Town Council will contact major high street retailers to make them aware of the opportunities in the town.

But it’s not just business and retail space that has seen vacancies opening up, the former Pinewood and Churchill pubs stand empty and the former Berriew Street butchers remains closed.

This has prompted the Town Council to say that they will speak to the owners to discuss possible change of usage to meet the town’s needs.

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