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New 30,000 sq ft Wickes store planned for Grimsby

A NEW 30,000 sq ft Wickes store is being planned for Grimsby as part of a multi-million-pound mixed use development.

The home improvement giant is looking to move to a first retail unit on the town's Gateway Park, the former brewery depot site in Birchin Way.

The scheme, brought forward by Standard Commercial Property Developments Ltd, site owners, would mean a relocation for Wickes, leaving the similar sized current store in Alexandra Retail Park.

It is hoped that with a positive reception it could be trading within a year, with a planning application to follow within weeks.

An initial public awareness campaign is underway with leaflet drops, ahead of a formal planning application to North East Lincolnshire Council.

Carl Bradley, director of Clark Weightman, the chartered surveyors acting for Standard Commercial, said: "We are really excited about this. A lot of hard work and effort has gone in and we hope that the climate is such that everything happens as it is supposed to happen. We have had positive discussions with North East Lincolnshire Council and we are in negotiations with another occupier that would sit next to Wickes, but it is too early to say who that is yet."

Of the overall seven-acre site, where little has happened since the arrival of McDonald's and KFC 12 years ago, Mr Bradley said: "We see the site in four quarters. Quarter one features the restaurants.

Quarter two is the hotel site, and we are going through a renewal of the planning application with that. We don't have an occupier at the minute, but it is important it is ready for when the market is right, and we know the local authority had been doing a lot of work on the hotel and leisure study.

"Quarter three would be retail, and with Wickes and another, that is looking positive, so that leaves us with quarter four.

"We would he happy to talk with potential occupiers about suitability. It could be leisure, it could be trade units, they are conversations we are happy to have."

This month marks exactly ten years since Wickes opened in Alexandra Retail Park, expanding from Grimsby's Eastgate after Focus DIY, part of the same group – now owned by Travis Perkins – closed.
Alexandra Retail Park was built in the mid-Eighties and the 36,000 sq ft site was opened by television builder "Handy Andy" Kane, of Changing Rooms fame.

With the relocation, it is unlikely many new jobs will be created, with a new store favoured to suit the modern lay-out of Wickes, as it caters for both domestic do-it-yourself enthusiasts and the trade.
The company has yet to comment on the proposal, following an approach by the Telegraph.

Source : Grimsby Telegraph

27 August 2013
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