New H&M store to open in King’s Lynn
- Credit: Nick Downey
A new clothing store is set to open in King's Lynn as part of a £3.8m project to rejuvenate the town centre.
Retail giant H&M will take over the former site of department store Beales in the Vancouver Quarter.
The £3.8m project began in August last year with H&M and four smaller retail units expected to open its doors in spring 2019.
The existing building which dated back to the 1970s was completely demolished and will be replaced with a two-storey retail unit.
The Vancouver centre's owners - a consortium led by retail specialist LAP in joint partnership with West Norfolk council - engaged leading retail architects The Colman Partnership to design a modern replacement of the Beales store to raise the profile of the Vancouver Quarter.
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According to the Centre for Retail Research, nearly one in 20 stores in Norfolk is predicted to close within four years as retailers continue to battle with online competition and changing consumer habits.
West Norfolk councillor Alistair Beales, cabinet member for corporate projects and assets, said: 'Having a vibrant town centre, is vital for the local economy.
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'This development is something we were keen to support as it will be the catalyst to regenerate this part of the town centre, building on our investments in the bus station, car parks and heritage assets.
'We are pleased that a local company is bringing this project to life and look forward to welcoming H&M to town.'
Once the site was cleared, a number of investigations were carried out on the existing utility services and underground structures, with some services, including water, gas, electricity, sewerage and high-speed cables, being diverted.
The drainage diversion were carried out at night so as not to disrupt the town centre and a temporary roadway through the construction site enabled emergency services to access the shopping precinct.
Andrew Hardy, operations director of Lynn-based construction company Chalcroft, said: 'We're proud to be playing our part in an important project that will help to bring more people into King's Lynn.'