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2014 looks bright for Melksham town centre after recent boosts such as new shops opening, campus plans being revealed and news that the post office is to stay in the town centre.
Thorntons the chocolate shop opened its doors in Bank Street and Griffs barber shop has started trading in the Avon Place precinct towards the end of 2013 while the former Lovejoys shop in the High Street which is undergoing major works of refurbishment including an attractive new shopfront is now under offer through Kavanaghs Estate Agents.
This follows on from Costa, LA Diner and The Fine Barber also opening its doors in recent months. The town will also benefit from the post office being relocated inside a new shop in Bank Street that will sell greeting cards, stationery, packaging and confectionery, as well as offering the same services that the current post office in Church Street offers.
Henry King from Kavanaghs, who have negotiated most of these lettings said, “The letting of the former Carpet Barn which has been vacant for a very long time is particularly pleasing as it fills a large space in an ideal location.
“There are those that criticise the town centre but the reality is that it offers a wide range of choice with a good mixture of small local businesses as well as major companies and although some businesses have gone over the last few years, such as Woolworth and Blockbuster, these are the result of structural changes in taste rather than local issues. There are very few empty shops now and Kavanaghs continue to receive enquiries which bodes very well for the future.”
It is hoped that the more recent positive news points towards a successful future for Melksham with the post office is due to move to Bank Street in March meaning empty units will be filled, drawing more shoppers into the town.
In our last issue of the Melksham News we revealed the campus plans which are currently under public consultation and set to bring a host of facilities to one central location, further increasing the footfall into town.
As part of the campus plans it has also been revealed that part of the Market Place will be designated for markets, bringing it back to a prominent position in the town.
Speaking about the positivity surrounding the town, Mayor of Melksham cllr Chris Petty said, “In these challenging economic times it is good to see such a vibrant town centre and I would encourage everyone to support our local traders on a day-to-day basis in order that we can retain and enjoy the retail experience that they provide and take the opportunity to visit the wide variety of shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants that Melksham has to offer.
“As we look ahead to 2014, the inception of the community campus, incorporating new sports, recreational and leisure facilities gets even closer and provides an exciting and welcome proposition for the town and the Melksham community area generally. So we have good reason to feel positive and optimistic about the future and our ambition to move Melksham forward. Melksham is a great place to live, work and visit.”