New lease of life for former Rushden store

The former Wills department store in Rushden
The former Wills department store in Rushden

A prominent town centre building is to be brought back into use with traders setting out their stalls there.

Wills was a family-run department store which had traded in Rushden since the 1920s, but it was forced to close its doors to customers in the summer of 2010 due to falling sales.

But the building, at the top of High Street near St Mary’s Church, will soon be brought back into use.

Posters in the window advertising the new venture, known as Newton Hall, are appealing for a range of traders, including artists, retailers, foodies and those looking to start up a new business, to make use of the opportunity to sell their products from the store.

Chairman of Rushden Town Partnership Lorna Wiltshire said: “Traders are really keen to see something new happening on that key landmark area of the town.

“It is a lovely opportunity to allow those with cottage industry-type businesses to reach and build up a regular client base or test the market with their products.

“We hope it will bring a fresh feel to the town centre and show off the local talent.”

Newton Hall is due to open next month in a section of the three-storey building, with traders from the area invited to get involved from £12 a day.

The sign in the window says: “An amazing chance to sell your product, raise awareness, build customer relationships, take commissions for one all-inclusive price.

“We are looking for local people with a high quality product or service that would like to try retailing on the high street.

“Ask in store or contact us immediately on 07974 450880 or Shanti@mistrys.co.uk.”

A spokesman for Rushden Town Council said they had given a grant of £500 to help with the redecoration of the outside of the shop.

The money has been given as part of the council’s shop fronts grants scheme.