SERVING THE NATION’S TRADERS SINCE 1922 NOVEMBER 24 - DECEMBER 7, 2017 No. 4914 70p Big plans for town centre

The first phase of plans to turn a Devon market town into a popular retail destination have been unveiled. Teignbridge Council has

approved a £2m investment in the council-owned Market Walk shopping centre in Newton Abbott, which is the first phase of a £30m investment programme between the council and private investors over the next five to ten years, that would transform the centre of the town. The plans include the

introduction of contemporary shop fronts for Market Walk and Market Square and a glass canopy over Market Walk, along with the removal of the current kiosks in the heart of the shopping centre. Formal plans have now

been submitted by the council for consideration, following a public consultation event. Leader of Teignbridge

District Council, Cllr Jeremy Christophers, told local media: “This is the exciting first step in our place-making plans to regenerate Newton Abbot town centre and improve the appearance and quality of Market Walk shopping centre. “We’re looking to capitalise

on the huge investment in the South Devon Highway and increased trade that Newton Abbot is seeing from the improved road networks, but also carry out the actions we promised in our Council Strategy to make our town centres even better places for people to meet and enjoy life.” The application can be

viewed online via the council’s website until December 8, and people can also leave their comments on the plans. These comments wi l l

be considered alongside planning policy and technical advice, and a decision is due to be made in early 2018 by the council’s own planning committee. The application is for the

renovation of the Market Walk facades, provision of new canopy, new paving and associated works. When councillors approved

the investment in Market Walk, Cllr Alan Connett said: “Having bought Market Walk last year for £13m, it is only right that we invest in it, and Newton Abbot does have to find its own competitive edge. “This could be a bright new

start for Newton Abbot and I hope that we will become the go to destination when they are fed up of Princesshay in Exeter and tired of Torbay.” Cllr Christophers agreed,

saying: “I am excited by the plans, and the removal of the canopy will connect the shoppers of Courtenay Street to the market. “Anything we can do to get

footfall into the area can only be good. This is right at the heart of the district and we need to invest. “We need to respect the

past but embrace the future, as what is there at the moment in Newton Abbot isn’t doing enough to attract people from outside of the district. “This will be a success for

Newton Abbot and the heart of Teignbridge.”

High Street remains

unsaved despite Portas campaign

Page 19 A digital image of how Newton Abbot’s Market Walk could look in the future Although this is only the

first phase of the council’s plans for the centre of Newton Abbot, a report on the proposals for the heart of the town has been delayed until January as “occupier negotiations” are still ongoing. Cllr Christophers added:

“The planned investment is the latest step in Teignbridge’s ambition to design and deliver regeneration and improvements schemes that make Newton Abbot more modern and attractive, help attract new businesses and encourage established ones to grow.” With less money from

central government in future years, the council’s finances will need to be increasingly

‘home grown’ and tied in with local economic fortunes. The decision by Teignbridge

to purchase Market Walk was unanimously supported by Full Council in December 2015, with the deal being formally sealed in February 2016. The £13m acquisi t ion

of Newton Abbot’s Market Walk shopping centre was the largest investment in Teignbridge’s history, giving the authority a greater ability to positively influence the future development of Newton Abbot ’s central shopping district, as well as providing a regular and reliable source of income. After Teignbridge acquired

Market Walk, steps were taken to brighten the centre

Three more months rent free

Traders in St Johns Market in Liverpool have been given another three months rent free as part of an ongoing bid to improve the city centre site. In July it was reported that

traders had been given an initial three month period of

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not having to pay rent, as the city council attempted to improve the fortunes of the beleaguered market. The move followed the

departure of a number of long- standing businesses, which quit the centre following what was branded a “shambolic” £2.5m council refurbishment. It has now been confirmed

that stallholders still trading in the market will be given a further three months without

having to pay any rent or service charges. This is the latest piece of

good news to arrive for traders, after it was revealed that St Johns would be hosting the much-loved Lewis’s Grotto this Christmas. One of the main complaints

from traders earlier in the year was that a lack of footfall was leaving many units empty and creating a “soulless” atmosphere in the centre.

However, this situation

appears to be improving, with several new traders having joined the market and a number understood to be opening this month. The centre also has a new

manager in David Whightman, who traders have described as a “breath of fresh air” and who, along with entrepreneur Guy Fennell, was seen as instrumental in bringing the grotto to the centre.

Opening Times: The Market Hall

Monday to Saturday, 8am to 5pm. Stall opening times vary. Wilko

Monday to Saturday, 8am to 6pm. Sunday, 10.30am to 4.30pm. T.K. Maxx

Monday to Saturday, 9am to 6pm. Sunday, 11am to 5pm. (Times subject to change).

up including a thorough clean of the walkways and entrance points. Business start-ups were

offered short term lets to run their own ‘pop-up’ shops, and Teignbridge acquired the empty Post Office unit in September 2016.

Big discounts attract ‘cherry-pickers’

according to new data

INSIDE... Page 3

Police in Manchester investigate reindeer robberies

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Enjoy a wonderful shopping experience in its beautiful Victorian Covered Market, Arcade Shops and T.K. Maxx & Wilko Stores.


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