Colchester: Williams & Griffin unveils plans for �30m transformation

PLANS went on show today for a �30million transformation of the Williams & Griffin department store in Colchester

The proposals, a key element within plans for a wider programme of measures to attract new investment to the town centre, will lead to a near-50% increase in floor space at the store and the creation of around 25 new jobs.

Under the plans, historic Tudor and Victorian buildings within the site will be retained and restored while the two 20th Century buildings which make up most of the store will undergo a complete transformation.

Hugo Fenwick of department stoes group Fenwick Ltd, which has owned W&G since 2008, said: “Williams & Griffin is synonymous with Colchester and we are very excited by the opportunity to build an improved and enlarged store on this site, which will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the High Street as a whole.”

The proposals would increase floorspace by nearly 50%, to around 85,000 sq ft, and would make the store “much easier to navigate” as well as providing space for a wider assortment of brands and two new restaurants, he said.

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“The new fa�ade of the department store will bring a much more attractive and contemporary frontage to the High Street, reflecting the architecture and heritage of the original High Street and enhancing the setting of the original Victorian and Tudor buildings on the street,” added Mr Fenwick.

Details of the proposals will be on display within the restaurant at W&G until 5.30pm today and will be on show on Friday and Saturday, June 15 and 16, at the First Site visual arts centre in Colchester between 11am and 4pm each day.

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Colchester Borough Council is currently undertaking a number of measures to improve future investment, with the aim of building on a number of recent retail successes for the town.

The Debenhams department store within the Culver Square shopping centre has already undergone a major refurbishment this year, involving the creation of around 50 new jobs, and retail brands including Schuh and Superdry have also opened stores in the town in recent months.

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