Four national high street names to move into former M&S store
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015
A major retailer has signalled it still intends to move into a former M&S store - and bring three other names from within the multi-retailer group with it.
If the plans go ahead it will be the first time in six years that the former Marks and Spencer building at 3-7 King Street, in Great Yarmouth, has opened its doors.
According to papers submitted to Great Yarmouth Borough Council planners, Sports Direct plans to transform the building and add Evans Cycles, Game, and designer clothing retailer USC - all owned by Mike Ashley's Fraser Group.
Town centre manager Jonathan Newman hailed the plans as "fantastic news" after initial works at the site were halted by the coronavirus pandemic throwing a question mark over whether the move would go ahead.
He said: "It is great news for the town centre, particularly given the last 12 months of Covid restrictions and the delay in Sports Direct making the move from Gapton Hall.
"It is going to add a number of names to the town centre when we will be looking to recover from all of the issues we have faced with the pandemic.
"It is fantastic news."
It is understood the investment at the key site will involve closing the Sports Direct store at Gapton Hall.
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The group has not outlined what it plans to do with the Game store in Market Gates.
Indications the new store looks to be going ahead with other brands widening its appeal comes in the wake of a £13.7m award for Yarmouth from the Future High Streets fund which it is hoped means the Beales/Palmers transformation into a library and university hub is secure.
The town is also poised for a new £3.5m market aimed at creating a "destination" shopper and leisure offer.
"Cycling is something that has really taken off over the last few months so that will be a good asset," Mr Newman added.
"There is a lot of opportunity and optimism for the town centre once we get through the pandemic, and this adds to it."
The application seeks consent for external alterations to the shopfront and advertisement signage.
The papers focus on the basement and ground floor only and suggest a bright shop front with window "light boxes" advertising what's inside.