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Wilkinson's High Street move

PUBLISHED: 10:28 21 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:28 03 July 2010

A LEADING retailer is set to move into Gorleston in what is being hailed as a major boost for the town.

Home and garden chain Wilkinson announced this week it would be opening a store in the High Street shopping centre creating up to 60 jobs.

A LEADING retailer is set to move into Gorleston in what is being hailed as a major boost for the town.

Home and garden chain Wilkinson announced this week it would be opening a store in the High Street shopping centre creating up to 60 jobs.

The store will be the flagship retailer in the shopping centre when it opens for business in August.

It replaces the branch of Godfrey DIY which closed in September after 21 years trading following the sale of the precinct to London-based property company Mason and Partner.

Julia Bolch, chairman of Gorleston Chamber of Trade, said: “This is great news for Gorleston. The new store should bring a lot of extra shoppers into town.

“There aren't any other shops here selling Wilkinson's particular range of goods so it will definitely add something to the mix of retailers, liven up the High Street and bring extra business to the smaller shops and boutiques.”

The Wilkinson store will be about three times as large as Godfrey taking in two neighbouring shop units and part of the courtyard.

It is part of an expansion programme by the Nottingham-based retailer that has a store in Great Yarmouth's Market Gates Shopping Centre.

A company spokesman said: “We feel sure Gorleston will be a welcome addition to our current portfolio.”

Planning permission was granted last year for a number of alterations to give the 1960s shopping centre a facelift.

Stairs leading to the first floor - once the entrance to The Advertiser offices - will be demolished with the entrance moved to the corner of the shopping centre next to School Lane. The adjacent car park will be resurfaced.

The upstairs office space will be used as a storage space for the new store.

Mike Smith, of Mason and Partner, said: “We are delighted to have successfully concluded our negotiations with Wilkinson. The store will revitalise that area of town and should provide a big boost to the local economy.”

“This will help to really transform the precinct making somewhere that people enjoying shopping.”

The High Street has had mixed fortunes in the past two years with a number of shop and business closures.

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