New charity shop set for Cleveleys high street despite concerns there are 'far too many already'
Cleveleys high street is set to get another charity shop in the new year, with Age Concern opening it's doors in 2020 amongst numerous other charity shops.
The charity- which works within Lancashire and is not affiliated with Age UK- will open it's store on January 10 on Victoria Road West, alongside more than ten other charity shops on the same street including British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK and Cat's Protection.
Head of retail for Age Concern, Bel Fry said: “Cleveleys has a well-known high street with some big names.
"We are proud to be joining some already successful charity shops in the area as we aim to deliver more than just another charity shop.”
The charity was formed in 1981 and provides specialist services to vulnerable people, their families and carers.
In October, the Gazette reported that some businesses on Victoria Road West were concerned that there were already "too many charity shops", and not enough independent businesses starting up because of high rental rates and businesses taxes.
Mohammed Jamil, who has owned Elegant Clothing on the high street for over 20 years, said he felt "the lack of variety within the shops and the increasing amount of charity shops" was contributing to a decline in customers in the town.
Other retailers were worried that by opening charity shops in the current empty units, it prevents the opportunity for local, smaller businesses to come to the high street.
Andrew Neal, third-generation owner of The Family Bakery said: "Cleveleys wouldn’t be half the high street it is without smaller independent businesses.”
Carl Cardwell, part-owner of Grime's of Cleveleys said more needed to be done to encourage smaller independent businesses to set up in the town in future.
Despite there being a number of charity shops along Victoria Road West already available, Age Concern said "they were not just opening another charity shop."
Suzanne Carr, CEO of Age Concern, said: "We aren’t opening just another charity shop in Cleveleys, we are also bringing in services that we have successfully delivered in Central Lancashire for many years.
"Inside our shop, we will have a private consultation room where advice clinics, information and support sessions and wills appointment will be held on a regular basis.
"We are making these services accessible to the local community.”
From January 17 2020, Age Concern will partner with nationwide law firm McClure Solicitors to provide free will and will review clinics from the Cleveleys shop.
Other sessions will include lasting powers of attorney and inheritance tax advice, bookable online through their website.