Four national high street names to move into former M&S store

Marks and Spencer closing down its store in Great Yarmouth town centre.Picture: James Bass

Marks and Spencers in King Street, Great Yarmouth, is poised to host four new high street names. - 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.

The closing-down sale underway in M&S Great Yarmouth which shut its doors in January 2015 Picture: J

Inside the former M&S store in Great Yarmouth which closed in January 2015. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015

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.

The Marks and Spencer store in the town centre in Great Yarmout before it closed and moved to the ou

The former M&S store in Great Yarmouth is poised to reopen as a Sports Direct multi-retailer store fuelling hopes the town can recover after coronavirus. - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

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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.

Marks and Spencer in King Street, Great Yarmouth, has been empty for four years Picture: Liz Coates

The former M&S store in King Street Great Yarmouth is a huge hole in the high street having closed six years ago. - Credit: Archant

"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.