Boom time for Wellington as businesses start to fill town's empty shops

This is The West Country: The Stead & Simpson store has stood empty for some time but it is thought a deal is close to being finalised. The Stead & Simpson store has stood empty for some time but it is thought a deal is close to being finalised.

WELLINGTON has turned a corner and its high street is booming again, upbeat business leaders said this week.

The town now has few empty shops with several firms having moved or planning to move in over the coming weeks.

The flurry of new businesses has brought the town back to life and sends a positive message to anybody else thinking of moving to Wellington.

Andy Sully, of the Wellington Business Association’s economic development and planning department, said: “It’s great news that these new retail outlets will soon be trading in Wellington, which is growing fast and is on the up.

“The town has turned a corner from last year with a reduction in empty shops.”

Last year, the County Gazette reported on the demise of the town centre with many shops standing empty, but such is the demand for space that the Rotary Club has postponed its annual charity book sale because it cannot find any empty and available premises.

Andy said: “This looks to be a clear sign that business confidence is returning to our high street.

“Wellington’s revival will be based on not becoming a cloned town, but by providing customers with a different and unique shopping experience with individual retail shops working alongside national retailing chains.”

An independent book shop has opened in Fore Street and, as reported, the Wetherspoon pub chain looks set to move into the old town hall.

Warrens plans to re-open Crusty Roll as a baker, while it is understood that a deal is close to being finalised for an unamed firm to move into the old Stead & Simpson shop.

Mark Sullivan, chairman of Warrens, said: “We’re delighted to be re-opening in such a beautiful town with at least six new jobs for local people.”

Chandni Chowk, currently based in Taunton, is making the trip down the A38 as it moves in opposite the former Royal Mail office in High Street in June.

Owner Rosalind Price said: “It’s a very exciting time for us and the building is lovely.

“The neighbours are friendly, everybody’s really nice and the town’s full of independents.”

The former Tim Potter butchers is to be put on the market in the coming months, while the Hard Times Café in South Street is the only other empty premises.

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