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Book giant Waterstones to relocate in York
BOOK retailer Waterstones is to move to a new store in York, after more than 20 years in High Ousegate.
The company wants to move into the empty shop in Coney Street previously occupied by Republic, and has submitted a planning application to City of York Council. The site has been empty since Republic went into administration earlier this year.
Staff at Waterstones today confirmed they would be moving premises rather than opening a second shop, however they remained tight lipped about reasons behind the move, or whether all staff would be transferred.
The application outlines plans to create a ‘Cafe W’ on the first floor, although it will cover only 62.34sq metres and will be ‘complimentary’ to the main book shop rather than a large feature in itself.
Chris Darley, senior associate director at Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners in Leeds, which submitted the application on behalf of Waterstones, said minimal work was needed to accommodate Waterstones’ requirements.
He said: “The shop has been designed to fit in with the fabric of the historic building, with no alterations to the fabric other than to remove some of the modern wall linings and finishes that have been installed in recent times.
“As the property is currently vacant, and has been since earlier this year, the proposal in an opportunity to bring a prominent shopping unit, within York’s central shopping area, back into use.
“Consequently, such a proposal will help to contribute to the economic vitality of Coney Street, as well as enhance the character of the conservation area.”
It is not yet known what will happen to Waterstones’ current premises in High Ousegate.
Frank Wood, chairman of the York Retail Forum, said: “I presume the move will be for commercial reasons to benefit from better footfall on Coney Street.
“However with is just being a move it isn’t actually bringing any new retailers to York as far as we know. Moving into an empty unit in Coney Street will just be off-set by the creation of an empty unit in High Ousegate, therefore it won’t really alter the retail offering in York.”
A decision on the application is due from the council’s planning authority by December 11.
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