Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 12°C

min temp: 10°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Wickham Market: Hopes grow for empty Co-op store after two years of frustration

17:21 01 August 2014

Wickham Market

Wickham Market

Archant

Encouraging progress has been reported on plans to revive a disused shop in the centre of an east Suffolk village following nearly two years of community discontent.

The East of England Co-operatiive said it held a “very useful” meeting with the Wickham Market Town Team over the future of its former store in the village, which had been left empty since it moved to new premises nearby in 2012.

Town Team chairman Colin Owens has also welcomed the progress made at the meeting, which he said was the first time the two sides have set out plans to work together on the issue.

“The shop has been closed since September 2012 and it’s been empty all that time, with very little movement to find a new tenant,” he said.

“It is therefore encouraging that the Co-op is now working with the Town Team to find a suitable tenant to make use of the premises and attract people back into the village centre.”

Mr Owens added that he was encouraged by the new enthusiasm and energy with which the Co-op was now marketing the vacant unit, and hoped a suitable tenant would soon be found.

Possible uses of the site suggested so far include a bike shop, a mini brewery and a day centre.

“There are all sort of options for this space, which is right in the centre of the village, with super car parking nearby,” Mr Owens said. “It’s a real opportunity for someone to get engaged in a vibrant and growing community.”

Bryan Hall, Wickham Market’s district councillor, has also welcomed the progress, having received many complaints from residents and traders about the empty store. “It’s such a key location in the village so any progress on its future would be very good news,” he said.

A spokesman for the Co-op said: “We have continued to actively market the property and would ask anyone from the local community or surrounding area to get in touch if they are interested in making use of the site. It would be good to see the former store become a useful asset for the community, whether as a retail unit or other use.”

Mr Owens added that any new entrepreneur would “get the full backing of the Town Team”.

Search hundreds of local jobs at Jobs24

3 comments

  • Well since the fire at the George, the village has been without a pub. Could that be a suitable use for the building? I assume it wouldn't be as big as the George but it would be better than nothing.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Sunday, August 3, 2014

  • The East of England Coop must have a bust time on their hands with all this empty property. Its not just Wicham..what's going to happen to all their empty monolithic department stores across the east? Add in their closed Easy Living centre and opticians in Ipswich and they seem to have more empty than full!

    Report this comment

    swatts

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • A photograph of the building concerned would have been of more interest than one of the village sign.

    Report this comment

    The original Victor Meldrew

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Bentwaters owner Sarah Brown (right) speaking with industry insiders at the Screen Suffolk launch in London

The Screen Suffolk deal which aims to bring film and TV productions to the county was officially launched at an exhibition in London on Tuesday night.

An artist's impression of Sizewell C

Community leaders who met to discuss Suffolk’s latest nuclear power station proposals have agreed its developers need to offer a better deal for the county.

Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley outside the group's headquarters in Shirebrook, Derbyshire.
Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

First half profits at embattled retailer Sports Direct have taken a pounding following the fall in the value of sterling – but that has not stopped the firm, led by billionaire owner Mike Ashley, splashing out on a new corporate jet.

IPRS Healthcare group chief executive Martyn Jackson speaking at the launch in London of the company's new app for virtual consultations with its team of physiotherapists.

An award-winning Suffolk healthcare firm has unveiled an app to help people injured at work or in road accidents to access quick and effective physiotherapy advice via a smartphone or tablet.

Chris Morgan, managing director of Mobile Mini UK, with Sarah Jones, manager at Mr Box.
Photo: Keith Mindham

Container storage company Mr Box, based at Great Blakenham, near Ipswich, has been purchased for an undisclosed sum by the UK arm of Mobile Mini, which has its global headquarters in Arizona.

Management Jobs

Show Job Lists

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24