Why build more shops? King Street is struggling?
Whilst King Street has suffered during the recent recession, it has suffered less acutely than some other high streets. We have lost some big names, but these are stores that have been lost from national high streets as companies folded or scaled back operations.
The closure of Marks and Spencer was a commercial decision by them reflecting their property strategy.
As with all town centres, the retail offer is changeable with stores coming and going. South Shields has seen a number of new stores arrive, including JD Sports, Select and Boyes. New shops being delivered by South Shields 365 will have larger and modern floor spaces, which meet the requirements of national retailers.
Does the Council own any of the properties on King Street?
The properties on King Street are in private ownership, held mainly by a mixture of private local individuals, national firms and international organisations.
The Council does not own any properties on King Street that will be retained following the development.
The Council is working with existing retailers, owners, tenants and the Town Team to ensure King Street remains a viable retail destination. This includes improvement works and street cleansing.
Are you going to cover King Street?
No. Access is needed to King Street by both the emergency services vehicles and articulated vehicles servicing the shops.
Covering King Street would also be incredibly difficult. Aside from the cost of the structure, written agreements would need to be in place with each property owner, which would be prohibitively complex to arrange. Also the frontage and height of each property is different which would make the structure difficult to support.
What sort of shops will there be?
Muse Developments and their property agents are already having very positive discussions with many well-known High Street names although it is currently very early in the process to specify names.