Felixstowe: Business units to bring jobs boost for town centre

MORE new jobs could be created by revitalising part of the site of the resort’s largest empty town centre store, it was revealed today.

Plans have been drawn up to turn part of the Candlers site into seven new business units, but the future of the main shop is still not known.

It has been agreed to divide the large site into two, separating the old furniture store on Hamilton Road from the shop’s storage building and car parking at the rear.

It puts an end to persistent rumours that a major supermarket chain was interested in the property, and also speculation that the store and adjoining empty shops were to be part of a big redevelopment project.

Cumberland Investments (Woodbridge) Ltd and Goblin Enterprises Ltd have submitted an application to Suffolk Coastal to build new offices and extend and convert the current warehousing into business units at the rear of the site off Penfold Road.

Architect Robert Allerton said: “The furniture store and yard of the former Candlers store are an unattractive and semi-industrial collection of buildings. They add little to enhance the ambience of Penfold Road.

“The previous use of the building has ceased with the closure of the shop, but this has led to the opportunity to increase employment at this town centre location with the creation of seven individual business units.

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“The units will be more appropriately sized, ranging from 80 sq m to 120 sq m, which are ideally suited to small businesses, start-up units and developing companies.

“These alterations will significantly enhance the street scene, provide opportunities for employment and help to keep the town centre a sustainable and vibrant location to work.”

Candlers closed its doors earlier this year after more than a century in the town with the retirement of owner Donald Candler, 92.

It began trading from Gainsborough Road in 1907 before moving to Hamilton Road just before the First World War. The store is currently up for rent.

Town councillors will discuss the project later this month and Suffolk Coastal could make a decision by the autumn.