New tenant on way for BHS store

Southport Visiter - - Visiter Life - BY CHRISTY BYRNE christy.byrne@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @ByrneChristy

THE for­mer BHS store on Chapel Street in South­port town cen­tre may fi­nally have a new tenant.

Hugh Evans, of South­port BID, could not con­firm the iden­tity of the tenant, but said: “We un­der­stand that it’s a short-term let only.”

The build­ing has been empty since BHS closed on July 23, 2016, and it had been hoped that a new tenant could be found that year.

Speak­ing to the Visiter in July 2016, then BID man­ager An­drew Slo­man said: “The BID has been work­ing with the prop­erty man­age­ment agents to look at at­tract­ing in­vestors to such a prom­i­nent unit. This forms part of an on­go­ing in­vest­ment strat­egy for the town.

“It’s still early days but due the unit’s cen­tral lo­ca­tion in a high foot­fall area we are hope­ful it can at­tract the right in­vestor. We hope to bring it back to life this year.”

How­ever, the store has re­mained empty and has been reg­u­larly been the tar­get of van­dals over the last two years.

The demise of the cloth­ing, fur­ni­ture and gift chain caused a ma­jor po­lit­i­cal row as it un­rav­elled, with some MPs call­ing for for­mer BHS boss Sir Philip Green to be stripped of his knight­hood.

Green bought BHS for £200m in 2000, and then sold BHS to Do­minic Chap­pell for £1 in 2016. The chain went into ad­min­is­tra­tion in April last year, with a £571m pen­sion fund deficit.

In South­port, 50 staff mem­bers lost their jobs and goods, fix­tures and fit­tings were sold off in a fran­tic fi­nal week.

The BHS store in Chapel Street closed in July 2016

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