FORMER BANK IS TO GO UNDER THE HAMMER
Calls for food stores to take place of Co-op
TRADERS are calling for a greengrocer and a frozen food store to fill the void left by the closure of a town centre bank.
The old Co-op bank, in High Street, Biddulph, goes under the hammer on Monday night with a guide price of £85,000.
Staffordshire Moorlands District Council has already given permission for the site – which was also once home to Britannia Building Society – to be split into two retail units with apartments on the first floor.
Now fellow businesses want a greengrocer to take up one of the units – three years after the closure of the popular Morning Fresh on the opposite side of the road.
Sheila Hart, from Sheila’s Shades, in High Street, said: “Something like an Iceland would be good.
“The nearest one we have is in Congleton, so Biddulph could really do with one.
“The building is a mess and looks an eyesore. If it becomes two shops then it is better than it falling to bits.
“A frozen food store would be nice and I think it would bring more life into Biddulph and we could do with something a bit cheaper than what we have.”
Jose Wain, from Euronics (Wains), added: “I would be glad to see it reopen as retail units and it was a shock to Biddulph when we lost Morning Fresh.
“When that closed we lost a lot of trade in Biddulph.
“The bank unit was originally two shops anyway and I can remember when it was a butcher’s.”
Biddulph town councillor Wayne Rogers works on the High Street and also hopes a greengrocer will come into one of the units.
He said: “The bank unit has been empty for a while and I would like to see some retail back on the High Street, something that we don’t already have.
“When we lost Morning Fresh it was a blow to the town, and although we have Fresh Food Friday once a week, we struggle for fresh fruit the rest of the week.”
Biddulph Town Council introduced Fresh Food Friday to bring stallholders into the town every week, with an artisan market on the first Friday of the month.
The Butters John Bee auction takes place at the Moat House Hotel, on Festival Park, at 6.30pm on Monday.
Its property description states: “Planning permission has been obtained to split the ground floor into two retail units.
“It also includes the refurbishment of the ancillary accommodation and change of use of the first floor – currently used as offices, storage and ancillary accommodation – to a one-bedroom flat and a two-bedroom apartment with separate access.”