Strong demand from retail independents in Norwich Lanes

The retail market in Norwich has been going about its business in a confident way over the last two years and is now ranked 13th in Javelin Group’s Venuescore 2017, which evaluates shopping destinations around the UK in areas such as their scale of offer and fashionability.

The Norwich Lanes, however, has generally flown under the radar – that is until recently when it featured quite prominently in a national newspaper feature last month.

Now, as locals, we can occasionally take what the Norwich Lanes has to offer for granted, and every now and again it takes either an outsider to comment, such as the above-mentioned article, or for ourselves to travel to other shopping destinations throughout the UK just to realise that we really are very lucky to have this on our doorstep.

Norwich Lanes is best described as an intricate set of streets and alleyways, predominantly pedestrianised, some of which are cobbled, among some architecturally, aesthetically-pleasing buildings.

They all have one thing in common: a vibrancy that runs through them, made up by people from all walks of life, be it your local business men and women to your art students, all of whom are seeking out the eclectic mix of independent retailers, cafés, restaurants and pubs that it has to offer.


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The Norwich Lanes is an attractive area for investors with its void rates being limited due to high demand. This is why opportunities for freeholds are few and far between.

Any that become available are often snapped up very quickly. Zone A rates in the Lanes typically range from £20 up to £45, depending on location and layout.

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Roche Chartered Surveyors have been very active within the Norwich Lanes, having let eight shops in the last 12 months, five of which have been along St Benedicts Street.

I have been lucky enough to have worked closely with many of the property owners to find them suitable tenants that will be sustainable, while at the same time fitting into the surrounding environment.

One of the shops let along St Benedicts Street was number 23, which has been turned into a high end bistronomy-style restaurant called Farmyard, and this opened at the beginning of the year. It comprises a total ground floor area of 1,269sq ft and Farmyard took a 15-year lease.

This letting shows the commitment that restaurants have to this area, and it is therefore no surprise when you are checking TripAdvisor for restaurant reviews that many of the highly rated ones are located within the Norwich Lanes.

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