Dismay at failure to let empty High Street shops
A senior councillor says he is still frustrated by the sight of an empty shop and restaurant greeting visitors to the Lower High Street.
The former Pizza Hut restaurant site has been empty since the beginning of 2013, while the discount shop Multisave across the street closed in July last year.
Ashford Borough Council’s cabinet member responsible for town centre business, Cllr Graham Galpin, says it has been tough to improve the area.
He said: “It’s frustrating for the town centre as I would like to see it flourish, but these two sites are not part of our council portfolio and we don’t control what hap- pens there. We would dearly love new businesses to be there, and we have looked at how we can help. We’ve tried all sorts of interesting approaches to make it look better.
“For the moment it is very frustrating. We have to have co-operation with the tenants and owners to take things forward.”
The former Pizza Hut restaurant is being marketed by SW & P chartered surveyors for an annual rent of £50,000 per year.
The site boasts 4,700 sq ft of space on the ground floor and in the basement and two large storage areas.
Meanwhile, the former Multisave shop is listed with Cradick Retail for an annual rent of £60,000.
Cradick says it has received interest from several parties interested in the site, but no details have yet emerged about businesses which could open there.
The site offers nearly 6,000 sq ft of retail space, which includes the large ground floor space, rear storage room and a yard at the back with six car parking spaces.
Last week the Express revealed the council’s efforts to spruce up the entrance at the opposite end of the town centre, as a letter was sent to the owners of the Prince Albert pub warning them to take action.
It was also revealed that the former Memphis Bar in Apsley Street could be set to reopen as a new Nepalese restaurant.
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The disused Multisave shop building in Ashford’s Lower High Street would have a rent of £60,000 a year
Cllr Graham Galpin wants to see the High Street improved