National retail giant poised for new investment in Blackpool

Retail giant Next looks set to get permission to extend one of its Blackpool stores enabling it to sell its full range of Home goods.

By Shelagh Parkinson
Thursday, 21st July 2022, 1:03 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st July 2022, 1:24 pm

Blackpool Council's planning committee is being recommended to approve an application which would see the store on Clifton Retail Park in Marton almost double in size.

The company says it wants to make the investment in order to offer customers a wider range of goods, saying the nearest similar store is in Bolton.

Next is proposing to build a two storey side extension using vacant land to the west of its current building.

An artist's impressions of the extended Next store

Documents submitted with the application say there is "an identified gap in Next’s offer in this area".

It says extending the size of the store to sell bulky goods including furniture, flooring and electrical will not take trade away from Blackpool town centre, but would only compete with other out-of-town shopping centres.

Next has also told the council it would continue to operate its town centre store in the Houndshill Shopping Centre.

The development would use full height glazing and include reconfiguring the internal layout of the store "to improve the overall customer experience, with the Next clothing and Home ranges accommodated in both the existing and extended store areas."

Documents add: "These glazed elements will allow excellent visibility into and through the store while also creating a light and airy shopping environment which is attractive and popular with customers."

Council planners say the design of the proposed extension would update the existing buildings which were built in the mid 1990s, and also house Matalan and Clarks.

A report to the planning committee says: "The proposed extension would introduce a much fresher, more modern façade to the extension and existing Next store with large expanses of glazing framed by red brick allowing views into and out of the store."

It adds: "Although ideally the whole building façade to include the adjacent units would be updated at the same time, it is accepted that this will not be possible due to the existing different tenants.

"It will however represent an improvement to the current unit that is now looking dated and create more visual interest from the outside."