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Showroom to make way in expansion

Worcester Editorial 10th Dec, 2014 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

A WELL-KNOWN former car showroom in the heart of Worcester is set to be demolished as part of plans to expand the city’s newest shopping complex.

Developer Carillion Richardson have submitted plans to Worcester City Council to develop the St Martin’s Quarter site which opened in 2012.

If it secures planning permssion, the building on the corner of City Walls and St Martin’s Gate, which was once a car showroom for Jaguar before it became the Bedroom Centre, will be knocked down to make way for new retail units.

A total of 75 per cent of the scheme has been let to companies, while the developer say it is in discussions at a “well advanced stage” on filling all the remaining units.

Among those which have already moved in include ASDA, two of the fastest growing discount stores in the country – B&M Stores and 99p Stores – as well as Costa, Fit For Free gym, beauty and hair specialist, Avant Garde and a Ladbrokes.

But due to the site’s growing visitors numbers, with ASDA reporting an increase of 11 per cent year-on-year, and strong sales, bosses at Carillion Richardson said the addition was a “natural progression” to further develop the scheme.

Selwyn Rowley, of Carillion Richardson, said: “While the plans will increase the commercial space by less than five per cent overall, the changes will be important strategically as the new buildings will improve the entrance St Martin’s Quarter and create an appropriate landmark on the corner of City Walls Road and St Martin’s Gate.

“The new addition will provide two new clusters of retail units and useful open space in between. It will also encourage increased pedestrian flows within the city centre.”

Adrian Field, head of Worcester BID, said he hoped the plans will play a key role in attracting businesses which complement those already in the city and which will help to ensure that all of the units are let in St. Martins Quarter.

“It will be good news only if it makes the city centre an even more attractive proposition for the public and there is evidence of demand from businesses wishing to locate there,” Mr Field added.

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