New business set to open and transform Fleetwood's biggest eyesore building next month

A businessman who plans to transform Fleetwood’s biggest eyesore by opening a new store there says it is set to open next month, despite delays.

By Richard Hunt
Wednesday, 8th June 2022, 4:55 am

Gareth Robb, 32, has taken over the lease of the former Store Twenty One premises on Lord Street and is looking to open his Ex-Catalogue Discount Outlet there by mid July.

For residents in Fleetwood, it can’t come soon enough as the building, the biggest retail unit in the town centre and once its most prestigious, has been closed for six years and attracted much criticism.

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The former Store Twenty One premises on Lord Street

Mr Robb, who has already set up a similar shop in Blackpool’s Hounds Hill centre, had initially hoped to launch the Fleetwood business in late February.

But he says problems with the electricity supply at the building have held the project back by several months.

He said: “The new electric meter is due to go in this this week and I plan to open the store in around four or five weeks.

"It has been very frustrating having to be slowed down like this, it has held my plans back by months.

"The shop is definitely opening and I just want to get going with it.”

Mr Robb, who lives in Fleetwood, says the enterprise will create between 15 and 20 new jobs.

He says the enterprise has benefited from a Wyre Council regeneration grant of up to £25,000 and a further £15,000 will be spent by the business, with much of the money being used on internal and external regeneration work.

The new store will stock a wide range of ex-catalogue items, clothing, bedding, homeware and furniture.

The building, owned by a Salford-based faith charity, was once the jewel in the crown on Fleetwood’s high street before its decline, with the town’s cherished Marks and Spencer store based there until 1986.

Up until 2016 it had been home to a Store Twenty One homeware and gifts branch, and before that a Hitchens discount outlet.

But after Store Twenty One closed its condition continued to deteriorate, with a metal sign and later a window falling off the building, and then a cannabis farm being discovered there.

Mr Robb said of the building’s owners: “They have been very helpful and have done some repair work to the roof themselves.”