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Gloucestershire Business News

Shop closures hit city's retail area but there is light at the end of the tunnel

The collapse of Poundworld is bad news for the Eastgate Street area of Gloucester.

For the street has unfortunately suffered a string of shop closures over the last few months.

Now the Poundworld shop in Eastgate Street is under threat together with 335 other stores across the UK after the company went into administration.

Eastgate Street has also seen the closure of Burton and Dorothy Perkins, the Co-op store, Burger King and the BHS store following the chain's collapse.

Marks and Spencer recently announced it is to close 100 stores nationwide but thankfully there is no suggestion the M&S in Eastgate Street is under threat.

Of course the problems on the High Street is by no means unique to Gloucester. It is estimated that nationwide more than 30,000 jobs have been lost or left in doubt this year alone as shops and restaurants struggle to survive.

And only last week House of Fraser announced it is restructuring with 31 stores closing including its outlet in Cirencester.

Some national experts are predicting that 2018 will be the worst year for retailers since the recession in 2008.

However, there is good news on the horizon for Eastgate Street with a multi-million pound project which will help revitalise the area. The former BHS store is to be transformed as part of a major investment in King's Walk Shopping Centre.

The owners of King's Walk Shopping Centre, Reef Estates Ltd will sub divide the former BHS store to provide a class A1 retail unit over ground and first floor along with a new class A1/A3 cafe unit at ground floor and associated outdoor seating area.

Concrete artwork panels which were put up on the side of the building 50 years ago to depict the history of the city will be relocated, the façade will be refurbished and the building extended at ground floor over the highway with alterations to the existing canopy over Eastgate Street.

Supporting the scheme, city planning officers said it would enhance the appearance and character of the area and delivering additional retail floorspace in the city centre.

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