Two more shops to leave Rugby town centre

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Two more high street retailers have confirmed that they will leave the town centre when their lease expires next year.

Burton and Paper Kisses in Market Place are expected to close in 2014.

The owner of the units, Kin Yip Properties Ltd, has now been granted planning permission for the shops to be replaced with either a financial or professional service, or a cafe or restaurant.

A report submitted to Rugby Borough Council said: “This flexibility is sought to enable the applicant to attract suitable new occupiers when the existing leases on the properties expire in 2014. The current tenants have confirmed that they will not be renewing their leases.”

It added: “The applicant’s desire for flexibility reflects the changing retail environment which is proving incredibly challenging for our high streets.”

Arcadia, which owns Burton, announced in 2011 that shop closures would come as store leases came up for renewal.

Arcadia-owned Dorothy Perkins, Evans and Wallis have already closed in Rugby town centre.

Paper Kisses is sub let from Burton.

Cllr Heather Timms,the borough council portfolio holder for the economy, said: “We’ve known for a while that our town centre would have to change. We believe that our town centre strategy, to encourage the growth of independent retailers, cafes, restaurants and further leisure businesses, will allow our town centre to remain vibrant and fit for purpose.”

Aftab Gaffar, managing director of Rugby First, said that the town centre is still doing well compared with others.

The national vacancy rate is 14 per cent, compared to six per cent in Rugby.

Mr Gaffar added: “Give it two months and you’ll see a big difference down that end of town.”

NEW SHOPS AND CAFE ARE COMING TO TOWN

*National menswear chain Greenwoods is opening a new store in Market Place

*Independent Support Solutions is opening a community cafe in High Street in July in the former Hunts Bookshop unit

*Rugby First has confirmed that a new retail unit will be opening in the former Terracotta unit in Chapel Street

*New business Faststich in North Street, specialising in high-speed clothing alterations, is reporting a very successful first three months