Three new shops opened in Nailsea’s Crown Glass Shopping Centre at the weekend, marking a return to occupancy levels not seen there for many years.
And with a number of other serious enquiries in hand, Mark Robinson of landlord Ellandi is hopeful that the centre could be fully let by Christmas. “With just a few vacant shop units left we are considerably outperforming the average national High Street performance,” he said.
On Saturday Felicity Ralfs opened her independent Butterfly Travel travel agency in Crown Glass Place, and Peter Waring opened the Occasions shop in the former Clinton Cards store in Colliers Walk.
Completing the trio of new arrivals was the Partysmartys shop of Fran Hunt, one of the winners of the centre’s Win a Shop competition.
Ian Thompson of letting agents Thompson Commercial said: “I have been working with Crown Glass for the past six years and during that time have never seen the centre this full before.
“The economy is picking up and there is increasing confidence among entrepreneurs that the time is now right to get into business. Also, the Win a Shop competition has definitely helped put the focus on to Nailsea as a vibrant place to do business.”
As the centre outperforms the national retail average it also announced that its Sion House office building is fully let, following a £250,000 investment there last year.
Fran Hunt’s party and wedding supplies sale and hire business Partysmartys was one of the two winners of the Win a Shop competition announced last month. The other winner, Emily Rickard, will open the Ewe-Knit 20 shop at 20 Colliers Walk later this month, to provide machine knitting classes, materials for creative and hobbyist knitwear, and her own range of knitted clothing and accessories.
Felicity Ralfs has worked in Nailsea travel agencies for the past nine years and said: “I have dreamed of having my own travel agency and being independent means I can offer a much wider range of holidays to my customers.
“I was immediately attracted by the location of the shop in Crown Glass Place – and the very reasonable lease terms.”
Peter Waring sold his five greeting cards shops to Clinton Cards some years ago and has opened Occasions in the former Clinton Cards shop in Colliers Walk. He said: “I have always enjoyed the industry and feel there is real scope for the business to do well in Nailsea. I have had a lot of positive feedback from local people.”
Specialist shopping centre investment and asset manager Ellandi acquired the Crown Glass Shopping Centre in 2009 in partnership with Development Securities plc. The company specialises in transforming shopping centres into buoyant venues at the heart of their local communities.
Pictured is Fran Hunt of PartySmartys, Win a Shop winner 2013