Grimsby masterplan will boost trade at Freshney Place
A MAJOR retailer is waiting for the opportunity to set up shop in Grimsby, according to a report.
Repositioning the town's bus station could allow for the expansion of Freshney Place shopping precinct and create a further eight outlets.
Precinct owners Grosvenor said they supported the masterplan for the area because it would boost trade.
Nearly 40 per cent of the shoppers heading to Freshney Place shopping centre come by bus, according to the precinct's owners.
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Grosvenor's projects director, Simon Armstrong, said his firm supported North East Lincolnshire Council's bid for funding because it would bring in further investment and shoppers.
Mr Armstrong said: "At present, the bus station provides a hostile environment for pedestrian shoppers at the western end of the shopping centre and the proposals to upgrade the quality of the public realm and pedestrian amenities are welcomed."
He said his firm was committed to bringing further investment to Grimsby following relocation of the bus station, adding: "Our initial studies suggest there is potential to create a large new store of about 70,000 sq ft and stimulate an investment of £12 million with the creation of 100 jobs.
"In setting out our support for these proposals, we would emphasise the need for a high-quality replacement bus facility."
The new bus station would have to be convenient and provide easy access to the shopping centre, he said.
North East Lincolnshire Council's head of development, Jason Longhurst, said: "This successful bid, alongside the significant benefits for public transport and enabling access to employment, further provides the opportunity to expand the retail offer in Grimsby town centre, as we know that Grosvenor, the owners of Freshney Place, are keen to extend.
"The bid was prepared in partnership with our regeneration partner Balfour Beatty and a number of local businesses and community groups.
"This funding will allow us to make significant improvements to the public and sustainable transport networks, which will help to encourage development, create jobs and improve levels of accessibility."
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