Empty bank building put to use again as controversial new Poulton business sets up shop

Owners Scott and Rebecca Bibby (second and third from left) are excited to open their fourth vape store in Poulton.
Owners Scott and Rebecca Bibby (second and third from left) are excited to open their fourth vape store in Poulton.
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A new vaping business in Poulton is preparing to open within the old RBS building in Market Place, despite initial concerns from residents.

The Vape Store will open in the old bank building on Saturday October 5 subject to completion of interiors, but there have been concerns from locals about the necessity of the new business.

Mr Bibby wants to encourage smokers to switch to vaping for their health.

Mr Bibby wants to encourage smokers to switch to vaping for their health.

The building itself has also been raised as an issue by residents in a local community Facebook group, with some member suggesting such a "beautiful building" should be put to better use.

Scott Bibby, 56, who owns the company with his wife Rebecca, said he understands frustrations from members of the public, but he is excited to start his new venture in the market town.

He said: I was a smoker for 30 years, and I really believe that vaping saved my life.

"I would wake up coughing and spluttering every day, but as soon as I switched to vaping my health has been so much better.

"That was around seven years ago, and since then I've had vape businesses to try to help other people quit smoking too."

The businessman owns three other branches of The Vape Store: on Highfield Road, South Shore, Bispham Road, Blackpool and Whitegate Drive, Blackpool.

Mr Bibby said that despite the fact that not everyone will be a vaping customer, he believes the previous bank building should house a business rather than being left empty.

The previous Royal Bank of Scotland building closed in January 2019, amongst 162 branch closures across the UK.

Speaking online, one resident said: "A bar would have been hugely preferable. Yes we have lots, but a bar that is a cafe in the day would have been a nice addition. Such a shame."

Another concerned local said: "How many people want to go in a vape shop? We're trying to stop kids doing it, not encourage them."

But Scott said despite initial negativity, he hoped to provide a platform for smokers to come and learn more about vaping in the hope of quitting cigarettes.

He said: "I want to educate people, and we operate a strict Challenge 25 policy.

"I've also held off on staffing for the new store because I want to hire Poulton residents and create more jobs."

Poulton currently has one vape business, The Vapour Corner - also in Market Place.

The first and second floors of the old RBS building will be occupied by insurance company Chadwick Insurances, who are currently based in Blackpool.