Two more big High Street names are heading for Spalding following news that Costa Coffee is to open a branch in the former Burton’s Menswear shop in Hall Place.
Bargain frozen foods chain Iceland aims to open a store in the retail unit now occupied by Allied Carpets on Holland Market and council planning officers are expected to make a decision on the change of use of the store before the end of this month.
Healthy option, fast-food sandwich chain Subway has plans to move to Springfields Retail Outlet rather than the town centre.
There’s also news that the former Swan Street toy store, Fun Junction, could become a two-storey cafe/restaurant if change of use plans are agreed by the council, but there’s no word yet on the type of food that will be served.
When Costa applied to move to Spalding, the company’s research showed six per cent of town centre shop units stood vacant in April.
But Spalding is in a far better position than most towns, according to the Chamber of Commerce.
Phil Scarlett, president of Spalding and District Area Chamber of Commerce, said: “I am pleased to see empty units being occupied, I think that’s good for the town centre.
“Iceland will have done its homework very, very thoroughly before it comes in.”
He said car parking on Holland Market will have helped Iceland make its decision – and car parking there will also be a boon to the new cafe/restaurant planned for the Fun Junction site.
“If you want frozen food, you don’t want to be carrying it long distances,” he said.
Commenting on the state of Spalding’s economy, Mr Scarlett said: “It’s not healthy and it’s not ailing either, it’s somewhere in between. We have nothing like the empty shop units that other towns have. We are in a relatively good position from that point of view.
“I still talk to a lot of retailers who are struggling to make business work. I would ask people to shop locally and support their local shop, which is what last week’s Independents Day was all about.”
l Iceland and Subway declined to comment on their plans when contacted by the Spalding Guardian.