BUSINESS is booming in Scarborough with news that two empty shops are due to reopen for business, with new tenants already lined up.
It has been revealed in a statement by Cllr Derek Bastiman, Scarborough Council’s portfolio holder for Strategic Planning and Regeneration, which will be presented to councillors on Monday.
In his statement he says that the shops, which have both stood empty for some time, are the former Klick Photopoint photo shop in Newborough and the former Pykes sports shop at the corner of Newborough and St Thomas Street.
Speaking to the Evening News yesterday, he said: “I think it’s excellent news – it just goes to show the confidence that has been given by retailers who want to invest in Scarborough. We remain positive and upbeat and we know Scarborough will buck the trend and deliver.”
He added that no details were available over the identity of the businesses which were planning to move to Scarborough but it is understood that negotiations are well advanced.
The news follows a recent announcement that national discount chain Poundstretcher is due to open its new store in Westwood at the end of next week – with the creation of 15 new jobs for the town.
In his report Cllr Bastiman says that the vacancy rate for the town centre currently stands at 10.2 per cent, compared with a recent rate of 7.5 per cent, which was better than the national average of 12.5 per cent.
However the report has revealed that footfall in the town centre has fallen by 1.2 per cent compared with last year.
Cllr Bastiman added that Scarborough is also hoping for up to £100,000 in funding from the Portas Pilot following the publication of the Portas Report last December – the research by retail guru Mary Portas looked at ways of revitalising shopping centres and the high street.
He added there would be 12 such awards across the country and says: “The application had to come from the retail community and be an original idea. The format was a standard type of application process accompanied by a short video uploaded onto You Tube – ours is called Surprising Scarborough.
“A small team of traders including the Chamber of Trade assisted and the principal idea of the submission is to provide customer care training across the town, culminating in a competition to find the person with the best customer care skills in the town.
“This would all be done in conjunction with the local media and the community voting for their favourite taxi driver, barman, waitress or shop assistant.”
He said that the outcome would be announced later this month.