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Wickes to take on derelict former Focus store in Paulton, Somerset

Focus store Poulton

Home improvement giant Wickes Building Supplies has submitted plans to transform the derelict former Focus DIY store at Old Mills in Paulton.

Twenty eight local people lost their jobs when the store closed in June 2011 after administrators failed to find a buyer for the store when the group failed.

Now Wickes have submitted plans to Bath and North East Somerset Council which they say will mean a £2.2million regeneration of the site.

The company have bought the freehold for the site and say there could be up to 50 new jobs created.

In his submission to planners, agent Tim Rainbird, a director of London based company Quod, said that the application is to allow Wickes to reoccupy a derelict site and bring the empty unit back into use.

He says that the application represents “an exciting opportunity for the town” which will bring in investment to the area and overall benefit the local economy.

The 1.6 hectare site was the home for Great Mills first ever store which open back in 1972 and was bought by Focus in 2000.

Great Mills was established with a staff of four and went to have 98 branches nationwide with 4,000 employees before it was sold to Focus.

The new owners want to completely refurbish the building including building a new entrance lobby with new customer entrances and revised parking.

In his letter to planners Mr Rainbird said that the benefits were apparent.

He said: “The site is in need of renovation which is something that Wickes will achieve with a large financial investment.”

A spokesman for Wickes said: “We are unable to comment on this at this time”.

Source : SG Norbury – Somerset Guardian
http://www.somersetguardian.co.uk/Wickes-Focus-store-50-new-jobs-expected/story-25848194-detail/story.html

14 January 2015

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