New chapter for striking shop in Spalding as fashion retailer to move in
One of Spalding's most striking shop premises is to open a new chapter when a fashion retailer moves in later this year.
The grade II-listed former Revills Jewellers store in Market Place will be the new home for Robert Goddard when staff move from their current shop in Vine Street.
As part of the move, Robert Goddard's current store will be turned into a retail unit on the ground floor and eight residential apartments on the first and second floors.
Steve Shephard, operations manager for Robert Goddard, said: "We've signed contracts on the place that was Revills Jewellers and as soon as our shop-fitting team has moved on from current projects, they will move on to the project in Market Place.
"We're really excited about it, the staff are excited about moving to an area where people are congregating in Spalding and our aspiration is to open by the end of the year.
"The store will be based on a 'manor house' concept, but we'll be looking to repair and enhance as many of the period features of the property as we can.
"It will be the newest store in our concept of shop fits, geared to the sorts of products we stock, and it will make for a fantastic building."
Revills Jewellers occupied the building for 70 years until it closed in July 2017 when managing director Nick Revill, who had succeeded his father after starting work there in 1976, decided that "the time was right to go".
According to plans prepared on behalf of Robert Goddard, the building was originally constructed as a bank in 1862.
The ground floor was then used for retail purposes in the 20th, while the upper floors served as offices, including the former Spalding Urban District Council.
Mr Shephard said: "It's an old building but we'll aspire to save as much as we can, or repair as much as we can, so that it'll be one of the nicest shop fits in Spalding.
"A significant budget has been allocated and we have a project manager, from Spalding, who deals with all of our store openings and relocations who will be running the job site.
"We try to work with local tradesman and specialists as much as possible and we're committed to being in Spalding for the forseeable future."
Mr Shephard confirmed that negotiations were at an early stage with clients interested in moving into Robert Goddard's existing store in Vine Street.
He said: "We've had a couple of approaches from people who want to either buy or let the building and those negotiations are where they are at right now.
"We've had planning permission on the property in Vine Street for a significant period of time, with consent to turn the upstairs floors into flats and leaving a retail property downstairs."
Spalding is one of eight Robert Goddard stores across eastern England that specialise in designer clothes for men and women.
It was founded by George Goddard in 1895 and then run by son Robert, after whom the business is named, before being bought by current owner Oliver Tookman in 2008.
Mr Shephard said: "Having seen the decline of the high street in other big towns, we're trying to buck the trend and prove that Spalding is still a great place to do business.
"We're trying to make the town better and more accessible for people with our move.