Pound chain looking at former M&S site

RUMOURS have been circulating Skegness about what might fill the former M&S unit and if plans go ahead, it is understood it could be a ‘pound’ type chain.

Since M&S left the site in Lumley Road, in early January 2011, questions have been raised about what could fill its place and several suggestions have been made during that time.

Many suggested that the town would suit fashion store Primark but they denied coming and one of the most common stories was that Poundland was coming to town but they previously denied claims and again have said it’s ‘not’ them.

However, workmen have been seen inside the site during the past week which has sparked interest from the local community and got everyone in the town talking.

Skegness resident, Mr Feeley, who got in touch with the Standard, asked if it was Poundstretcher? But a spokesperson said: “Unfortunately we do not currently have any plans to open a Poundstretcher store in Skegness.”

However, if plans go ahead and nothing has yet been confirmed, it is understood that the site could be filled with another pound chain.

And Glenis Brown, Chairman of the Skegness and District Chamber Commerce said if it was this type of store then it would be ‘good to have the site filled’ for the summer season.

“Any shop is good and an empty site is not good. We can’t be snobby about it as it’s what works for people in these tough times. It is difficult to get people in these units and I’m sure the landlord was keen to get someone in as rates need to be paid on empty units,” said Mrs Brown.

Mrs Brown also thought that a pound type shop would sit well in the high street as she thought the one in Lincoln was very well served.

“There’s something in those shops for everyone, there’s lots of branded goods, many at a good price and the rest reasonable. People know what they are spending when everything costs just a £1 and they have a basketful,” she added.

However, East Lindsey District Councillor, John Byford, thinks the town is too full of ‘cheap pound’ and ‘charity shops’ and says the town should have more of a ‘balance’.

“Although I would rather see a shop used than unused, I think the high street is just becoming full of charity shops and cheap tacky shops and I think it’s about finding a balance,” Coun Byford said.

“It just doesn’t say a lot for the resort although I know lots of people will probably welcome this type of thing and they’re obviously doing well,” he added.

But ELDC’s portfolio holder for Economy, Coun Craig Leyland, thought the site had been vacant for ‘too long’ and that bringing vacant sites back into use would ‘benefit’ the community.

Coun Leyland, said: “The former M&S store has been vacant for too long so rumours that a new tenant could soon be moving in is good news for the town. We’re keen that all high streets in East Lindsey are vibrant with a good shopping experience and it is important that vacant units are brought back into use for the benefit of the local economy and to create more job opportunities.”

l What do you think? Email amy.gallivan@jpress.co.uk