Traders want to see bigger shops

Kevin Tester from Most Wanted Homes, Deborah Sarson from Colemans, Will Kellock from the 02 shop and Mark Jones, chairman of Wellingborough Traders Group
Kevin Tester from Most Wanted Homes, Deborah Sarson from Colemans, Will Kellock from the 02 shop and Mark Jones, chairman of Wellingborough Traders Group
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Traders have said bigger shops are needed to bring new retailers to their town.

The Wellingborough Traders Group, which is made up of shopkeepers and businesses in Wellingborough town centre, says the size of stores in the town centre is a major problem which prevents new retailers from coming to town.

The group did some research by contacting commercial agents to see what the retail requirements were for big brands.

They were told that most retailers wanted to set up in a shop between 1,000 and 2,500 sq ft, though the traders say Wellingborough has very few empty units which fit the bill and most of the stores outside the Swansgate Shopping Centre are not big enough for modern retailers.

But Cllr Graham Lawman, chairman of Wellingborough Council’s development committee, said while he welcomed the traders group’s “proactive approach”, there was more to it than just building bigger shops to attract major brands.

He said: “There’s an issue of space to start with – where would we put these shops? We have to balance the heritage and character of the town against developers’ needs.

“And not forgetting issues like traffic flow, parking arrangements and disruption for other town centre users.

“Of course we would like major retailers to come to Wellingborough, but there’s a lot more to consider than simply the space available.

“Plus we’re proud that our town centre isn’t a replica High Street and there are many independent and niche shops offering something different, so we have to balance that as well.”