Published: 00:01, 12 August 2017 |
Where the former B&Q superstore once stood, there is now a hive of retail activity.
Maplin, the electrical specialists, opened on Saturday, July 29, and on Wednesday last week the new M&S Foodhall was hot its heels to start trading.
B&M, one of the UK’s fastest growing variety retailers, sells everything from home accessories and furniture, to groceries and toys, camping equipment and electrical goods.
That just leaves the Starbucks coffee house and the 24-hour gym to take up residence, completing the £6 million five-unit refit.
Starbucks opened on Thursday and the fitness centre, run by The Gym Group, opens in September.
The new ventures sit alongside other High Street names, such as Next, Argos and Poundland, Carpetright, Matalan and KFC.
Cllr Jane Chitty, who is in charge of growth and regeneration, welcomed the business boom.
She said: “It has given Strood a real identity with shops that meet people’s requirements. Not so long ago the retail park went through quite a bad patch.
"The supermarkets survived but now it’s more than just a supermarket town. And employment is buzzing.“
The project team ensured access to all existing stores was maintained throughout, and worked hard to reduce disruption during the car park upgrade and highways works.
Paul Hillier, from the landowners of Ropemaker Properties Ltd, said: “We’ve invested £6m in extending and improving the retail offering at Strood Retail Park and, thanks to the combined efforts of the construction, legal and lettings teams, feel we have achieved a high quality mix that complements the existing stores and provides a wealth of choice for shoppers in Strood.”
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