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Businesses make 15 year commitment to town as new supermarket opens

PUBLISHED: 15:46 21 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:47 21 January 2020

The team at the newly opened The Food Warehouse in Thetford. Picture: Keith Mindham Photography

The team at the newly opened The Food Warehouse in Thetford. Picture: Keith Mindham Photography

copyright keith mindham photography

The owner of a new retail park says its popularity has convinced big national brands to commit to the town.

The front of a B&M store. Picture: B&MThe front of a B&M store. Picture: B&M

Breckland Retail Park, in London Road, Thetford, was completed at the end of June last year. The site has seven units of which just one remains without a tenant.

The £6.9m park saw the first stores open in early July with a Greggs, B&M and Home Bargains. The park is estimated to create 200 jobs in the town.

Neil Searle, director of Stapleford Commercial Group, which owns the park, said that it has proved to be a success and the final unit is expected to find a tenant soon.

He said: "We currently have three to four clients interested in taking on the final unit as the park has been so successful.

A new Greggs store is to open at the Breckland Retail Park in Thetford. Picture: Greggs/Havas PRA new Greggs store is to open at the Breckland Retail Park in Thetford. Picture: Greggs/Havas PR

"We have seen big named companies come into the area and want to invest in Thetford, providing jobs for local people."

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Mr Searle said that the current stores had committed themselves to the town because of the success of the park.

He added: "All the contracts that we now have on the park are for 15 years which shows the amount of investment. I doubt there are many parks across the country with 15 year contracts.

Artist's impression of the proposed Breckland Retail Park in Thetford. Picture: Urban Edge ArchitectureArtist's impression of the proposed Breckland Retail Park in Thetford. Picture: Urban Edge Architecture

"I don't want to mention names but we are well into negotiations for the final unit."

It comes as The Food Warehouse, a part of Iceland Foods, opened in the park following an investment of more than £250,000 from the store.

The shop has created 30 jobs and offers shoppers a wholesale store without the need of a membership, according to the retailer.

Kristian Barrett, operations director for The Food Warehouse, said: "The Food Warehouse is an innovative store format, responding to the changing needs of shoppers by offering amazing bulk-buy deals and homeware offers alongside a fantastic range of frozen, fresh and chilled foods."

Inside the newly opened The Food Warehouse in Thetford. Picture: Keith Mindham PhotographyInside the newly opened The Food Warehouse in Thetford. Picture: Keith Mindham Photography

When asked on Facebook page what they wanted to see in the final unit, residents suggested discount clothing brand Primark would be ideal.

Other suggestions include an entertainment venue such as a bowling alley, social club, music venue and cinema.

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