Newport newsagents Bands closes after decades in centre
10:52am Thursday 3rd October 2013 in News
NEWPORT newsagents Bands has finally shut down to make way for council redevelopment.
The newsagent In Upper Dock Street closed down as Newport City Council prepares for the new Friars Walk development.
Owner Nigel Crocker, 48, of Cardiff, who has run the shop along with his wife since 1999, is “disappointed” that the shop had to finally close, six years after the plans were announced.
Mr Crocker, who also owns Cardiff newsagents Hayes News, has had to let seven staffmembers go since the closure.
The shop, which has been at the heart of Newport since 1981, when it was formerly owned by John Cox, will be flattened to make way for the development, which is expected to attract £88m of private-sector investment to bring more than 390,000 square feet of retail and leisure space, including a major department store, a 360-space car park and a new bus station.
Developers expect to create up to 1,000 retail jobs and up to 300 jobs associated with the construction phase when work starts next year.
Mr Crocker handed over the keys on Monday.
Mr Crocker, who signed the lease for 20 years, said: “The shop has been shut for redevelopment, which is disappointing, but I have accepted it since we were originally told six years ago.
“When nothing happened straightaway we put it on the back burner but we received a notice three months ago.
“I think many of our regular customers are disappointed, particularly the elderly ones who come in and trust us to check their lottery numbers.
“I think it was a lucky shop to a lot of people.”
The newsagents was known as a big lottery shop, having seen some big wins over the years, including a £10,000 scratchcard winner.
“We are not going to move to another location in Newport,” Mr Crocker added.
“But it is nice to be missed.”
A spokeswoman from Newport City Council said: “Occupied properties which are due to be demolished as part of the first phase of the Friars Walk scheme need to be vacated before the work can begin.
“Newport City Council compulsorily purchased these properties in 2010 and most are now empty.
“However, the few businesses that were allowed to stay on were always aware that they would have to move before work began.
“Proper notice has been served on the occupiers and they will be properly compensated for all their losses.”
“We would like to thank them for their co-operation in this and wish them all the best for the future.
“Construction work on the much-wanted Friars Walk leisure and retail scheme is due to begin next year.”
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