Christ­mas open­ing for House of An­gus unit ex­tremely un­likely.

Dob­bies’ plans for a cen­tre ‘ready to trade over Christ­mas’ have come to a halt

The Courier & Advertiser (Angus and The Mearns Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - JIM MIL­LAR jimil­[email protected]­courier.co.uk

Hopes that a promised pre-christ­mas in­vest­ment and jobs bo­nanza that would see a re­tail unit on the An­gus/dundee bor­der “ready to trade over the Christ­mas sea­son” have been dashed.

An ap­pli­ca­tion to An­gus plan­ning chiefs by Dob­bies for its Moni­fi­eth House of An­gus re­tail unit out­lined an in­vest­ment of around £700,000, and the cre­ation of up to 40 jobs.

In Septem­ber, a spokesper­son for Dob­bies said: “We have re­ceived plan­ning con­sent from An­gus Coun­cil to trans­form the ex­ist­ing House of An­gus at Dob­bies in Dundee.

“We are work­ing to­wards hav­ing the cen­tre ready to trade over the Christ­mas sea­son.”

How­ever, the build­ing re­mains va­cant with no ap­par­ent shop fit­ting be­ing car­ried out, mak­ing it highly un­likely that the out­let will be op­er­a­tional with Christ­mas less than four weeks away.

The gar­den cen­tre gi­ant has re­mained tight-lipped on the sit­u­a­tion, and de­clined to give any in­di­ca­tion of timescales.

The out­let opened in 1999 and saw a num­ber of lo­cal and house­hold names trade from the venue, in­clud­ing farm shop Gray Re­tail Ltd, lug­gage spe­cial­ist Antler and soap and fra­grance man­u­fac­turer Ar­ran Aro­mat­ics.

How­ever, by the time House of An­gus ceased to op­er­ate ear­lier this year, just two firms were trad­ing in the build­ing.

Moni­fi­eth and Sid­law SNP coun­cil­lor Beth White­side said: “It is ex­tremely dis­ap­point­ing that progress ap­pears to have stalled in bring­ing the House of An­gus back into use.

“The clo­sure of the site was a blow for the lo­cal econ­omy, not least to those who were em­ployed there.

“I am li­ais­ing with coun­cil of­fi­cers to of­fer any as­sis­tance to get the pro­ject back on track, and I would urge Dob­bies to pro­vide an up­date on what they are plan­ning to do.”

The plans lodged by the firm pro­posed a tra­di­tional depart­ment store style, with Ed­in­burgh Woollen Mill as the core brand, re­tail­ing a se­lec­tion of Scot­tish and themed brands, as well as sou­venirs and golf-re­lated cloth­ing and ac­ces­sories.

A café which pre­vi­ously op­er­ated in the build­ing was also sched­uled to re­open.

I would urge Dob­bies to pro­vide an up­date on what they are plan­ning to do

Pic­ture: Gareth Jen­nings.

The House of An­gus unit be­side Dob­bies at Ethiebeaton Park, Moni­fi­eth.

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