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Accrington shopping arcade trade revival after all-time low
A TOWN centre shopping arcade is enjoying a revival after hitting an all-time low last year.
Fears for the future of the Grade II listed Victorian Arcade in Accrington are said to be over with the number of traders more than doubling in recent months.
The Warner Street shopping centre had just three traders left in business in February last year, but currently has eight trading for Christmas.
Shops at the arcade say business is booming and owners have said there are more shops expected to open in the new year.
Director of operations for the site’s owners InShops, Willie Penman, said there were a number of interested parties.
He said: “Things are going very well with some new businesses just opened and there’s lots of interest to follow up on.
“We’ve had a few enquiries and it’s a case of what’s suitable for which unit and when the timing is right.
“A few people have missed out on Christmas trading and because the year winds down after Christmas, we won’t see any new openings until the new year.”
The arcade has had expressions of interest from about four businesses interested in its eight available units.
Mr Penman said: “We’re still in talks with different businesses but it looks good.
“I have hopes of having the arcade filled by the summer.
“It’s a long process and there may be some ups and downs because not every new business is a success.
“However it’s great how much more interest there is in the arcade.” Still trading at the store are the arcade’s stalwarts Arcade Washes, a white goods retailer, Choices ex-catalogue store and Annie’s Cafe.
New stores include Goodwin’s Gifts, a clothing alterations shop, a ladieswear shop, a children’s clothing shop and a taxi booking office.
One of the newest businesses, womenswear store Gill’s Clothing, which opened last weekend, said trade was brisk.
Owners Gill and Andrew Stinson said they had made the right move.
Mrs Stinson said: “This is a really exciting new venture for us, and there’s much more going on in the arcade right now.
“Our neighbours say things have been slowly picking up for six months and we feel we’ve opened at just the right time.
Mrs Stinson said: “InShops are doing a lot to attract new businesses right now and their offer was really competitive.
“We’re hearing a lot about prospective new shops and it is looking quite positive.”
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