Driving To Deliver Your Business

Huge concerns for Newhaven town centre as Co-op decides to …

A TOWN centre has suffered a terrible blow as its last supermarket will be shutting its doors. The Co-op in Newhaven Square will be closing down next month as part of an ongoing store review process . Traders have lamented the move saying it will only serve to drive people away from the troubled town centre.

They say the footfall of people visiting the supermarket helps other businesses in the centre and losing the store perpetuates a vicious cycle . In 2014 the last bank, a HSBC, shut down because it was no longer deemed commercially viable. Paul Boswell, secretary for Newhaven Chamber of Commerce, said It is a terrible blow for the town, only recently we lost our last bank, now our only supermarket is going.

It is a vicious circle, fewer shops means we have less footfall, less footfall means fewer shops and so it goes on. This will make it very difficult for our remaining shops to make a living.

We have contacted Aldi to see if they would be interested in the site, but their spokesman said they had no plans to open a store in Newhaven.

The chamber will do what it can to encourage a retailer to take on this premises, but it will be an uphill struggle to put it mildly.

A newCo-op store will be opening in town on Fort Road after the Newhaven Square branch closes on February 24. Last year the Newhaven to Dieppe ferry link was saved and traders said it was the key to redeveloping the town and turning around years of decline. Newhaven has seen decline since the end of the Second World War as the maritime and rail freight trade in the town began to drop off with the goods sidings at Newhaven Harbour station being closed in 1968 and the railway wharf being shut in 1996.

A spokesman for The Co-operative Group said: We can confirm that our food store in Newhaven Square is to close on February 24 and the following day a new store is due to open on Fort Road.

The decision to close the Newhaven Square store has been made as part of our ongoing store review process and is in no way a reflection on the hard work and commitment from the 30 colleagues working at the store.

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