TAMWORTH’S Matalan store is no longer closing its doors for a number of months whilst the expansion to the retail unit takes place to the store.
Planning permission was granted last year for an extension to the side of the store and the introduction of a mezzanine floor, meaning that the retail floor space will be spread across both the ground floor and first floor.
Whilst it was originally suggested that the store was to close for a period of up to nine months whilst the expansion took place, it has now been confirmed that they have no intentions to close the store in the foreseeable future.
In a statement, the company has said that they are still discussing options as part of the landlord’s plans to redevelop the retail park and that the exact location and format of the newly refurbished Matalan store has not yet been confirmed.
The question now is whether Matalan is to move into another store prior to the existing store expansion, making way for another big name in its place in the expanded store.
The plans for the store expansion are, after all, part of wider plans for a face-lift and modernisation of Ventura Retail Park.
Tamworth Informed first reported on the plans in January last year when the application was submitted to the planning department at Tamworth Borough Council.
Permission has been granted for the units on that phase of the Park to have new cladding to the outside and to modernise the look. The units look will be sticking to the appearance of Next. The plans show that the new frontages of the stores will be predominantly glazed and use new, modern materials.
In addition, units 2, 5 and 6; currently occupied by Halfords, Mothercare and the existing Toys ‘R Us are to have Mezzanine floors installed. In the case of Halfords, extended.
The car park will also see a facelift, with extra spaces added and an improved access road; moving the main road away from the front of the stores to increase safety to pedestrians. An additional 146 parking spaces will be created.
The planning statement which was prepared by the developers at the time of application stated that the whole development would bring significant economic benefit to Tamworth with the creation of around 66 jobs based on the additional floor space and the assumption of one full-time employee per 90m of floor space. This could add around £2.5 million to the local economy.
It is hoped by developers that the plans will ensure the major retails brands remain in Tamworth for years to come, securing existing employment.
A reminder that this work is being funded by a private company, J.B. Auctott, and not Tamworth Borough Council. The proposals, securing employment and big names is surely a good thing for the town!
Yes, as residents, we would love investments from big names in the Town Centre, but we cannot force the hands of the big names, they choose where they want to do business.
What do you think of the plans?