THE search is on to find new occupiers for York’s Waterstone’s store as the book retailer plans to relocate.

After more than 20 years in High Ousegate, Waterstone’s is preparing to move into the former Republic store in Coney Street at the end of March.

Last month, City of York Council approved a planning application for alterations to the Coney Street premises, which include the addition of a Cafe W on the first floor.

Since Waterstone’s announced the move, Leeds-based agents Pudney Shuttleworth have been working on finding new occupiers for the High Ousegate unit. A variety of retailers have been targeted, with a “positive” response from those looking at both full occupation of the building and partial lets.

However, the agents are remaining tight lipped about which brands have been contacted, saying only that they are talking to retailers “across the board”.

Richard Shuttleworth, director at Pudney Shuttleworth, said: “We are aware of what retail requirements there are for York and we have targeted those companies that fit that.

“A good amount of them have responded positively. Some are looking at the building as a whole, and some just parts of the building.

“It’s very early days. In the mean time we will be working up a new occupier or occupiers. It is just too soon to say how long that will take.”

The new Waterstone’s in Coney Street will see the shop occupied for the first time since Republic went into administration in February last year.

The first floor café was described in the planning application as a “complementary” addition to the book shop rather than a large feature itself, covering only 62sq metres.