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Aim high for Worcester's new shopping complex
EXCITING plans for a new multi-million pound shopping complex in Worcester have won the backing of retail chiefs - who say the city should look to the likes of Solihull.
Adrian Field, manager of Worcester Business Improvement District (BID), a body which represents traders, has called it “an exciting opportunity” to transform the shopping offer.
He says Solihull, near Birmingham has gained a major reputation by securing John Lewis as an anchor store in the Touchwood complex - and suggests Worcester should aim just as high.
As your Worcester News revealed last week, the Cornmarket car park and Trinity House, which borders Queen Street and Trinity Street, is up for sale to developers.
The city council has teamed up with Worcestershire County Council in a joint deal, which will see both parties make millions from selling the land off.
Mr Field said: “They should aim high - if you look to Solihull, you’ve got John Lewis as an anchor which all the other businesses virtually hang off.
“It’s that kind of opportunity which is very exciting.
“If you look at all the assets in Worcester, with The Hive, the University Arena, St Martin’s Quarter and the High Street, there’s a lot going on.
“Trinity House has already been voted one of the ugliest buildings in the city in the Worcester News, so the idea it could be demolished or refurbished is great.
“It makes sense to create that link between the High Street and St Martin’s Quarter - what it will do is get people moving around the city far more than they do now.”
Meanwhile, a newsagent owner whose business borders the development says he is fearing for his future.
Simon Jones, 41, who runs Trinity News, next to Trinity House, only bought the business nine weeks ago and has secured a 10-year lease for the unit.
He said: “The shop has been here for donkey’s years and business is really good, which is why I bought it.
“We never knew this was happening and if we did, we wouldn’t have sunk our money into it - we don’t want a building site next door.
“I’d have walked away and not risked my money.”
A development brief will be published next month by Worcester City Council, outlining the terms and conditions for any sale of the land.
It will say a developer must guarantee at least one floor of retail and leisure on the 62,000 sq ft site.
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