Value retailer B&M is to relocate its outlet currently in Southport town centre. Andrew Brown reports
Retailer B&M is moving from its site on Lord Street in Southport town centre and into the Central 12 retail park.
It will combine two vacant units at the retail park, previously occupied by Outfit and Sports Direct in Units 1 and 2, creating an estimated 30 jobs. Covering around 34,000 sq ft the store will also include a garden centre.
It will be located between the existing Asda superstore and Boots. A planning application for the scheme will be decided by Sefton Council’s Planning Committee next Wednesday (January 18).
Chief planning officer Derek McKenzie has recommended councillors to approve the plans. A condition will be attached which will insist on the continued trading of B&M from its existing store at 95 Lord Street until December 2025.
This application has been submitted by JLL on behalf of Aviva Investors Pensions, which owns Central 12.
In the report it says: “Unit 1 was most recently occupied by Outfit, a subsidiary of Arcadia which provided an outlet for Arcadia brands (Topshop, Topman, Burton, Evans, Wallis, Dorothy Perkins and Miss Selfridge) generally located in an out of centre retail park location.
“Arcadia entered into administration in November 2020 and while a number of brands were sold to third parties, administrators for the group were not able to find a buyer and all Outfit stores closed as of January 2021. Unit 2 has remained vacant for some time, having previously been occupied by Sports Direct.
“The operator requires an area of outdoor garden centre space, an amalgamated floorplate and a number of internal and external works to facilitate their operation.
“It is anticipated that a store of this scale and nature would offer 20-30 roles across a range of levels, entry points and contract basis including full time and part time employment.”
In his report, Mr McKenzie stated: “The amalgamated unit will provide suitable relocation space for an existing town centre operator, B&M. The main issue to assess is whether the proposal has a significant adverse impact on the vitality and viability of Southport town centre.
“It is considered that on balance, subject to an agreement ensuring the continued trading of B&M from the Lord Street store to the expiry of their current lease (December 2025), the proposal will not have a significant adverse impact and therefore complies with Local Plan policy.”