Fu­ture of town looks good de­spite clo­sure of Dunelm, says town chief

Leader of town BID says fu­ture is bright as new stores set to open

Hinckley Times - - NEWS -

THE boss of Hinck­ley BID has moved to al­lay fears over the fu­ture of Cas­tle Street af­ter the an­nounce­ment of Dunelm’s clo­sure.

The home­style re­tailer Dunelm is shut­ting up shop in Jan­uary next year fol­low­ing a re­view of the firm’s es­tate, which ap­pears to have con­cluded the Hinck­ley premises was too small.

In­stead it is to con­cen­trate on out-of-town su­per­stores.

The out­let will close on Jan­uary 21 2018. All 14 staff are be­ing of­fered po­si­tions else­where.

Steve Wegerif is the di­rec­tor of the town’s busi­ness im­prove­ment district which in­cludes all the shops and busi­ness in the cen­tre.

He says that de­spite the clo­sure, Hinck­ley’s town cen­tre is in a healthy state with a shop va­cancy rate of just 5% which is less than half the na­tional av­er­age.

Steve said: “Com­pared to most towns, Hinck­ley has stood its ground well. Un­like many coun­cils who have built shop­ping cen­tres out of town which have sadly dec­i­mated town cen­tres them­selves, our bor­ough coun­cil had the fore­sight to keep The Cres­cent within walk­ing dis­tance of our town cen­tre, and this has at­tracted brands such as Sains­bury’s, TKMaxx, Su­per­drug, Wild­wood, Prezzo, The Tarro Lounge and oth­ers who Hinck­ley has not seen be­fore.

“Build­ing a fab­u­lous leisure fa­cil­ity in our Ar­gents Mead town cen­tre park (which it­self re­cently won a green flag award) was in­spi­ra­tion.

“Cineworld could see the op­por­tu­nity of a town that was go­ing places and their pala­tial multi-screen cinema is ex­tremely pop­u­lar.

“The lat­est re­tailer to see the op­por­tu­nity, Aldi, will soon be build­ing in Stock­well Head - even Lidl are mov­ing to larger, pur­pose built premises.”

Car park­ing has been a hot topic in town for many years.

Steve said: “Some may say also a spark of that we have been a vic­tim of our own suc­cess. It is true that park­ing can be dif­fi­cult to find at times – we have made the au­thor­i­ties aware of this and they are planning so­lu­tions ac­cord­ingly.

“It is very sad to lose stores like Dunelm, but if their head of­fice plan is only to keep su­per­stores then so be it. Like the clo­sure of the Heart of Eng­land Co-op Stores, this was a huge loss to Hinck­ley shop­pers as it was to those in Nuneaton, Rugby and Leamington.

“How­ever as smaller shops close, their premises sel­dom re­main empty for long. We have had many new busi­nesses open in Hinck­ley this year – the va­cancy rate in Hinck­ley is just 5% - less than half of the UK av­er­age.

“We are for­tu­nate to have a com­pact town cen­tre with 150 plus re­tail busi­nesses, the ma­jor­ity of them in­de­pen­dent, all of which pro­vide a wide choice and should ful­fil virtu- ally any Christ­mas shop­ping list!

“Within the town we also have more than 60 restau­rants, pubs, bars and mi­cro­brew­eries of­fer­ing a huge choice of good food - as well as a host of take-aways for those in a hurry.

“We also boast more than 45 hair, health and beauty sa­lons to make you both feel and look fab­u­lous!

“If you don’t know where they all are, please email us (info@hinck­ley­bid.co.uk) and we will rush you a free full colour 58 page ‘Es­sen­tial Guide Hinck­ley’ in the post.

The BID are also planning sev­eral big events in the lead up to Christ­mas.

There is the first ever free Fam­ily Fes­tive Fun Run around the town cen­tre on Sun­day De­cem­ber 10 from 10.30am to mid­day with a medal from Hinck­ley’s mayor for every­one dress­ing up in a Christ­mas out­fit.

And there will be six days of Santa’s Glo­ri­ous Grotto at Hinck­ley Leisure Cen­tre on Dec 15,16,17, 21,22 and 23.

An artists im­pres­sion of the new Aldi su­per­maket in Hinck­ley town cen­tre. Aldi are in early stages of planning the store on a dis­used fac­tory site on Hol­liers Walk

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.