Che­quing in Bank will re­place River Is­land in ar­cade

Gloucestershire Echo - - NEWS - Philip NOR­RIS philip.nor­[email protected]­plc.com Pic­ture: Laura Lean

THE River Is­land shop in the cen­tre of Chel­tenham is to be turned into a bank. Canada Life In­vest­ments, which owns The Re­gent Ar­cade, has ex­changed con­tracts with Metro Bank on the 13,000 sq ft High Street unit which is cur­rently let to River Is­land.

A plan­ning ap­pli­ca­tion for changes to the build­ing at 138-140 High Street says it would mean con­sid­er­able physical en­hance­ments, a con­tem­po­rary shopfront de­sign and cre­ate 25 new bank­ing jobs.

Metro Bank, founded in 2010, pro­motes it­self as dif­fer­ent to usual high street bank­ing - be­ing open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm on week­days.

A mem­ber of staff at River Is­land said em­ploy­ees were aware of moves for the build­ing to be­come a bank, but said they had been told noth­ing about any fu­ture plans for the busi­ness in Chel­tenham.

We have con­tacted River Is­land to ask them what the change means for its pres­ence in Chel­tenham.

Cen­tre man­ager at the Re­gent Ar­cade Scott Lahive said he was pleased to be able to go pub­lic on the deal with Metro Bank.

He said: “This is one of the most prom­i­nent units in Chel­tenham and we are de­lighted that Metro Bank will be an occupier at the front of our shop­ping cen­tre, bring­ing their award-win­ning ser­vice to the High Street at a time when most other banks are clos­ing

branches. “Metro’s ar­rival will pro­vide a much-needed boost for the town cen­tre in to­day’s chal­leng­ing re­tail cli­mate.” Ian Walters, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of re­tail and busi­ness bank­ing at Metro Bank, said: “As the rev­o­lu­tion in Bri­tish bank­ing, we’re ex­cited to be com­ing to Chel­tenham. “We’re com­mit­ted to bring­ing amaz­ing cus­tomer ser­vice to lo­cal res­i­dents and busi­nesses in the area.” Chel­tenham BID di­rec­tor Ke­van Black­ad­der said: “It is very pos­i­tive for Chel­tenham town cen­tre to see a ma­jor new bank open­ing here.

“I know they iden­ti­fied Chel­tenham as some­where they were keen to be and that they have been wait­ing for the right lo­ca­tion.”

River Is­land de­clined our in­vi­ta­tion to make a for­mal com­ment on its plans for the fu­ture.

But the Glouces­ter­shire Echo un­der­stands the com­pany is look­ing at al­ter­na­tive lo­ca­tions, but there are no firm pro­pos­als as of yet.

It is very pos­i­tive for Chel­tenham town cen­tre to see a ma­jor new bank open­ing here

Ke­van Black­ad­der

A branch of Metro Bank will be re­plac­ing River Is­land in Re­gent Ar­cade

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