New blows for shoppers as high street gloom deepens

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MORE doom and gloom has descended on Rugby town centre this week with redevelopment plans taking a knock back and another retailer going into administration.

Peacocks announced on Tuesday that it had gone into administration, throwing the future of the Church Street shop into doubt.

Staff said they had not been told anything, while Peacocks wouldn’t say what might happen to individual shops.

Bon Marche in the Clock Towers, also part of the Peacocks group, looks likely to be bought by new owners.

The news came just a week after Dorothy Perkins and La Senza closed in Rugby.

It also emerged this week that plans to redevelop the Gala Bingo and Cemex House site in Evreux Way have suffered a setback.

It is now believed that Morrisons will not be building a new supermarket on the site.

Robin Richter, managing director of town centre management company Rugby First, said: “Cemex has not been able to extract itself from its building and find somewhere for its staff to go.

“It’s rather dragged on. Morrisons and the people that wanted to buy it moved on. The sale fell through.”

In May last year the Advertiser revealed that Cemex had submitted a plans to redevelop the site with a potential new supermarket and shops. Morrisons said it was ‘monitoring’ the site.

Mr Richter said: “They were interested, along with two others, but it’s taken too long.”

As part of the redevelopment plans Gala Bingo has already been demolished. The site is currently being used as a car park, charging drivers £2.50 per day or 50p per hour.

Cllr Craig Humphrey, leader of Rugby Borough Council, said: “It’s a shame. It’s an important gateway to the town and we want to see it improved as quickly as possible.

“We don’t have a great deal to do with the site. Cemex own it and it’s up to them but it’s a part of the town that needs sorting.”

Cemex said it is continuing to discuss the sale with potential purchasers and it is actively seeking an alternative home for its staff.

No one at Morrisons was available for comment.