Stamford is proving a magnet for retailers and businesses

The former Vodafone shop in High Street, Stamford, which is set to become Steamer Trading Cookshop
The former Vodafone shop in High Street, Stamford, which is set to become Steamer Trading Cookshop
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Stamford town centre is in high demand with retailers and businesses, despite the economic struggles across the country.

A quick walk around the main shopping areas reveals many empty buildings will soon have new tenants moving in.

The White Company supervisor Elina Noohi and sales assistant Julie Francis

The White Company supervisor Elina Noohi and sales assistant Julie Francis

And according to estate agents there are fewer than five units currently on the market that do not have confirmed new occupants.

Budworth Hardcastle director Gavin Hynes said interest was always strong in Stamford.

He added: “It is rare for a property not to be let within a short space of time.

“I’m not saying times aren’t hard but there is still considerable demand from retailers to be in Stamford.”

The Mercury counted 16 empty properties around Stamford town centre. Of these, three were not available to let. The rest all had confirmed tenants or interested parties.

Two new shops are due to open in the coming weeks and planning applications have been submitted for several other locations.

Steamer Trading Cookshop will open in the former Vodafone store in High Street in September.

Head of operations David Wright said: “This will be our first shop in Lincolnshire and Stamford, being a beautiful, historic market town, is very similar to locations in which we already trade.”

He added: “We sit very well with the existing, well-regarded kitchenware, hardware and tableware shops – and offer something very different from our two floor store.

“We also have a local team who, I am sure, will know and make welcome many local residents.

“It will make Stamford a real destination for people who love their homes, kitchens and cooking.”

The White Company opened in High Street earlier this year. Sales assistant Julie Francis said the reception from customers had been excellent so far.

She added: “Everyone is pleased we are here.

“They say it’s been a long time coming and it’s what Stamford needs.

“I would definitely recommend Stamford to other retailers. The money is there and there are a lot of quality shops.”

Mr Hynes said there was no shortage of businesses lining up to come to Stamford.

He said: “The vacancy rates in Stamford are considerably less than the national average.

“We get several inquiries every week from new businesses looking to come into Stamford.”

Mr Hynes added that even if a shop seems to have been empty for months, it could have been let within weeks.

The new tenants may just be going through the planning process.

Most empty properties around the town centre should soon have new occupants.

In High Street, Jones Bootmaker plans to move into the old Santander building.

Planning applications have been submitted to turn the former Team Sports shop in St Mary’s Street into a tea room and Pelangi 7 restaurant 
in St Paul’s Street into a takeaway.

Stamford Dental Care will move into the former Honda showroom in Broad Street while Peterborough-based Life Church hopes to take on the CLC Bookshop building in St George’s Street.

Signs in the window of Uncle Sam’s in Castle Street say a new restaurant, No1 Kitchen, is recruiting.

Mr Hynes said tenants had been secured for Meander in St Mary’s Hill, the former Stamford Photo Express shop in Red Lion Street and Ruby Loves in Stamford Walk.

A sign in the window of the former YMCA shop in St Paul’s Street says new tenant is moving in and an application for a premises licence has been submitted for the former Simpole Clarke delicatessen in St Paul’s Street.

The only major property without a confirmed tenant is the former Burton and Dorothy Perkins shop, and Mr Hynes is confident that will be taken soon.

Stamford Town Team was set up to protect the future of the town centre. Member and marketing consultant Tim Nicol said: “We are very aware of the fact that Stamford has a comparatively thriving High Street.

“All our efforts are designed to keep it that way and make sure we don’t rest on our laurels but keep trying everything we can to make it attractive 
to businesses and shoppers.”

The town team has set up an online survey and is calling on residents, visitors and workers to have their say on shaping the future identity of the town.

The group has so far had about 175 responses but hopes to have more by the end of the month.

The survey is available at Stamford Library, The Fine Food Store in St Mary’s Street or by visiting the Stamford Town Team website.