A prestigious retail chain has submitted a planning application to take over an empty shop in Stamford, creating seven jobs.
The White Company wants to open in the former Clinton Cards store, which closed in June last year after the firm went into administration.
The company, which sells high quality linen, clothing and gifts, said in its application to South Kesteven District Council that the plans would “enhance the area” by “giving the store a new lease of life”.
It wants to transform the building, which is Grade II* listed, into a two-storey shop using the ground and first floors and install a customer lift and a new staircase. The top two floors would remain unused.
News of the company’s plans came as Stamford’s new Town Team began its work at looking into ways of helping the town centre continue to thri ve.
Members of the town and district councils, Stamford Chamber of Trade and Mercury editor Eileen Green held initial talks, and now traders, retail workers and property landlords are being be invited to play a part.
The aim is to find a consensus on the way ahead for the town centre. Matters under consideration include looking at the effect high rates and rents might have, how to offset any fall in town centre trade from out-of-town shopping parks; whether litter deters people from shopping here and whether the town provides a good variety of shops. The team is keen to hear people’s views on what sort of additional shops if any are needed in Stamford.
One new store which opened last weekend is Paper Kisses, which is in the unit formerly occupied by health food shop Julian Graves.
Its manager is Jacky Gough, former manager of Clinton Cards and there are two other part-time members of staff.
Mrs Gough, who had worked at Clinton Cards for 12 years, said: “We have been getting a very warm welcome since we opened. Everyone has been coming in and saying how nice it is to see a shop open rather than close.”
Julian Graves closed last summer after going into administration.
But there was bad news this week when it was revealed the Stamford branch of Blockbuster would close in the coming weeks.
The store in Ironmonger Street avoided closure when the DVD rental chain went into administration in January, closing 129 stores out of 528.
But on Wednesday, administrator Deloitte said a further 164 stores will close, including Stamford, following an ongoing review.
Staff at the Stamford store will be made redundant and an employee helpline has been set up. The administrators said there were an average of five people employed at each store.
Customers will be notified in advance of closure so they can return outstanding rental items.
The Bourne branch of Blockbuster will stay open for now.
If you would like to contribute to the Town Team’s work, e-mail town councillor Max Sawyer on firstname.lastname@example.org or editor Eileen Green at email@example.com. The team’s next meeting is on Friday next week.