A MAJOR fashion store at a city retail park is set to grow in size, new plans have revealed.

Clothing giant Next, which currently has a homeware and furniture store at the Elgar Retail Park off Blackpole Road in Worcester, has submitted plans to expand the building and start selling clothes.

The neighbouring unit, currently occupied by autocentre Halfords, would be taken over by Next as part of the expansion.

Halfords would move its store to the neighbouring Blackpole Retail Park.

Several plans have been submitted to Worcester City Council asking for permission to change the use of part of the unit from an auto centre to retail, allowing the sale of clothes, building a mezzanine floor and making several other alterations to the layout and parking.

If the plans are approved, the existing store in the Elgar Retail Park would close to make way for the new store.

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Plans also include space for a cafe - which could be a Costa Coffee like in several other Next stores - and a stationery shop or travel agents.

Next has stated the expansion of its store in the Elgar Retail Park is not at the expense of its city centre store in Cathedral Plaza, according to a letter accompanying the application.

Gary Robinson, regional estates manager at Next, said: “Next is fully committed to multi-channel retailing and offering a high-quality service to our customers in a well-designed, attractive and up-to-date stores in key locations remains a central and vitally important part of our business.

“In the Worcester catchment, we are not providing our customers with the choice of stores we can offer elsewhere in the country.

“Therefore, we have agreed with the landlord to occupy the Halfords unit to provide a larger high-quality store, that offers a full range of our fashion and home products under one roof."

Mr Robinson said the clothing retailer has committed to keep its store in the city centre until at least 2021.

A spokesman for Halfords said: “Subject to planning permission, we are excited to confirm that we will be relocating our Halfords store team to a brand new unit on the adjoining Blackpole Retail Park. We look forward to offering a fantastic experience and welcoming new and existing customers.” 

Worcester City Council's planning committee meets next Thursday (October 24) to make a decision.