Search

Community reacts to M&S closing its Yarmouth town centre store

PUBLISHED: 22:57 14 July 2014 | UPDATED: 22:57 14 July 2014

The Marks and Spencer store in the town centre in Great Yarmouth which is closing and moving to the out of town Gapton Hall Retail Park.

Picture: James Bass

The Marks and Spencer store in the town centre in Great Yarmouth which is closing and moving to the out of town Gapton Hall Retail Park. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2014

Marks & Spencer is to close its King Street store in Great Yarmouth.

Marks & Spencer is to close its King Street store in Great Yarmouth.

It is moving to the out-of-town Gapton Hall Retail Park with all staff transferring to the new outlet – which will be a M&S Simply Food.

The move, announced yesterday, has disappointed and caused concern in the community.

Some fear the shop’s withdrawal from the town centre may trigger a domino effect, with other stores leaving the town centre.

Others worry for the elderly who may find it harder to reach the out-of-town store.

The new store will offer a bigger M&S food selection, as well as a 50-seat café and free parking.

MP for Great Yarmouth, Brandon Lewis has urged Great Yarmouth Borough Council look again at the cost of parking in the town centre as a result of the announcement.

“M&S are moving partly to provide a free car park – it would be a terrible shame if other businesses decided to make the same decision,” he said.

“I have also been assured that M&S will be looking to ensure the Great Yarmouth store is a viable town centre business venue for someone as they are the property owner, rather than leaving it vacant.

“I will do anything I can to encourage new businesses to set up in our town centre. I will also be pushing M&S to consider those who use public transport to visit the store and may have difficulty with travelling to the new site at Gapton Hall.”

A spokesman for the company said the decision to relocate was not taken lightly.

“We want to ensure we are in the best location to serve our customers, and one which is fit for the future of M&S. We believe we have found this in Gapton Hall Retail Park.”

Trevor Wainwright, the leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said they are disappointed that the large retailer is moving out of town.

“It is a commercial decision and therefore one in which the borough council did not have a say. The borough council’s principle for retail is ‘town centre first’,” he said

“The relocation of retailers to out-of-town retail parks has been happening for some years across the UK – it is not exclusive to Great Yarmouth – but the borough council will ask M&S to explain its specific reasons.”

Jonathan Newman, Great Yarmouth’s town centre manager, said the relocation is “hugely disappointing” and “completely unexpected” for the Great Yarmouth Town Centre Partnership, which promotes viability of the town centre.

What will this mean for Yarmouth town centre? Email anne.edwards@archant.co.uk

comments powered by Disqus

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Latest from the EDP

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 8°C

Listen to the latest weather forecast
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists