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Strood to get huge Poundland store in old Paul Simon premises

By Jenni Horn

A huge discount shop has announced it is opening in Strood.

Poundland is moving into the old Paul Simon at Strood Retail Park which closed last year.

The budget retailer has applied for planning permission to change the signs outside the unit but it has not confirmed when it will be opening its doors. It comes as the Co-op announced it would be moving into a new store in Wainscott. The news emerged in the week Tesco said it would be closing its Chatham branch in nine weeks.

Poundland. Library image
Poundland. Library image

Earlier this week a spokesman for Poundland said it could not confirm a new Strood store before plans were finalised. But today, the announcement has been made that it will go ahead.

Poundland’s trading director, Richard Lancaster, said: “Poundland has grown significantly over the past 12 months and it’s fantastic to see this expansion continuing with a new store in Strood.

"We’re looking forward to opening our doors.”

Poundland has not confirmed how many jobs will be created.

The chain has 534 shops across the country including outlets in Chatham and Hempstead Valley. It is on track to open 60 more stores before the end of March.

The Paul Simon shop closed after the chain went into administration last April, with the loss of 10 jobs.

Former Paul Simon store at Strood Retail Park
Former Paul Simon store at Strood Retail Park

The future of another part of the retail park in Commercial Road will be decided next week.

The site’s owner, Ropemaker Properties, has applied to replace the existing B&Q store with five smaller units over two floors. These will include three shops, a cafe and a 24-hour gym.

If given the go-ahead, the gym will be located on the upper floor of the new unit with glazing facing Commercial Road.

As part of the project that side of the site will be landscaped, the existing slip road will be removed and pedestrian access will be improved. Plans include 17 more parking spaces and 50 cycle spaces.

B&Q at Strood Retail Park
B&Q at Strood Retail Park

B&Q said it is in talks with the landlord. A spokesman said: “No decision has been taken yet.”

A decision is due to be made by Medway Council’s planning committee on Wednesday.

It has been recommended for approval with the condition that the retail park contribute £2,000 towards traffic management in Commercial Road and £15,000 towards a better pedestrian crossing.

The Co-op has announced that it will be moving further along Wainscott Road to take over part of a former workingmen's club with the creation of another 10 jobs.

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