PLANS to extend the Tweedbank Retail Park have been drawn up by developers keen to cash in on its growing popularity.
The recent opening of Next, following on from a £1.75million refurbishment of the retail park earlier this year, has resulted in a big upturn in trade.
Prupim, site owners, want to build a new 6,250 square feet unit at the end of the retail terrace, next to the Currys store.
A company spokesman said: “The design will be complementary to the existing refurbished stores and we hope this will be acceptable to our neighbours.
“We are confident that the new store will form an attractive and vibrant retail outlet, creating new jobs for local people and continuing to improve the shopping experience at Tweedbank.” An exhibition was held on Saturday to gauge public opinion. The eventual occupier has not been identified at this stage, although the developers are looking for a retailer rather than a leisure or restaurant use.
Drawings show the new unit could be achieved by reducing the grassed area separating the retail park from the service road, creating extra parking.
“The car park will be extended locally and the landscaping improved along the service road,” said the spokesman. “Both design and scale has been carefully considered to provide this type of store, which is not readily available within the town centre.
Will Cotmore, Prupim asset management director, said they had been encouraged by the popularity of the new Next store, especially in the difficult economic climate, and wanted to further improve the shopping offer.
They are delighted with the turnaround in its fortunes. When Kwik Save went bust and closed its store in spring 2007, by their own admission the park was looking tired and dated. The revival was kickstarted by the arrival of Marks and Spencer Simply Food store that autumn and this year the firm has expanded two units (Next and Carpetright) to make them more attractive to retailers, resurfaced the car park and modernised the shop fascias.
“Our investment has vastly improved the look of the park, which resulted in Next being attracted to the town, and this investment should also assist in retaining existing retailers like M&S Simply Food,” said the spokesman.
The proposal is not connected to its 2008 planning permission for three new units.